A few days after the world was shocked by the murder of a teenage girl in France, a few internet users were shocked by a new statistic: the average internet speed of countries like Germany, Brazil and India. In an
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on Forbes, researchers found that average internet speeds of countries ranging from 2.5Mbps to 3Mbps can be achieved within a few hours of arrival in the country.
But this speed is still far below what some people can get from home or from a nearby mobile provider.
While the average speed of a mobile provider in the US is around 40Mbps, it is still lower than the average for India, Brazil or Brazil itself.
And this is still not good enough for many of us who need to access the internet on the go.
The internet speeds are so low, some people are even taking to calling them “zero”.
“It’s really bad for the economy and the world.
The average speed is so low that it is very difficult for people to access content in a timely fashion,” says one user of the popular Twitter app WeChat.
In other words, the internet is so slow that even those with mobile internet connections are struggling to get online.
“What we are doing is creating a massive network effect, the network effect is the idea that a network has to be able to keep up with demand,” says Joachim Bächler, a research professor at the Technische Universität Bochum in Germany.
“In other words we are not allowing a network to grow to meet the demand of the users.”
And with such slow connections, many people are also getting stuck behind a locked door in their homes.
“I was stuck in a hotel for almost a week in the middle of winter because I could not get online,” one person wrote on Twitter.
“This has caused me huge stress, it’s really stressful.”
Bäschler explains that this phenomenon is caused by the fact that internet networks do not provide enough bandwidth.
“The speed is the problem,” he says.
“A lot of people have their broadband speed reduced, which is not necessarily bad, but they are still paying the price.”
The problem with slow connections in India is not just the speed, but also the fact many of the country’s population are living in poverty.
India’s average monthly salary is $5,000, while in Brazil it is about $5 per month.
As a result, many families have had to put their children into private school, or move to remote rural areas.
“It is really important to ensure that people who have access to the internet have adequate bandwidth, and that it works properly,” Bäschler says.
The solution for those with poor connections is also a problem for mobile carriers.
“As a result of the huge population in India, carriers have had no choice but to provide connectivity at a minimum speed of 1Mbps,” says Bästler.
And in Brazil, the average broadband speed of the telcos is 2.4Mbps.
The slow speeds are also hindering the country from gaining market share.
“We are not seeing a lot of investment, and a lot is being made by carriers, but the investment is not sufficient to create enough competition,” says Sebastian Giesbrecht, a professor at ITG Zurich in Germany who specializes in mobile network infrastructure.
“There is not enough competition, so you are not able to create new business models.”
So how do we get a faster internet connection in India?
First, the country needs to boost its internet infrastructure.
In the past few years, the Indian government has committed to setting up over 400,000 new broadband lines.
But these projects have yet to be funded.
“Right now, we have no funding for the projects that are being proposed,” says Kishore Gogoi, the minister of state for telecommunications.
“So instead we are relying on the telco operators to invest.”
This has caused some concern among users.
“While the telecom companies are getting a lot more money, we are seeing a loss of connectivity, so we are still waiting for our broadband to reach our homes,” says Arundhati Bhattacharya, a member of the India Association of Broadband Users.
As such, she has launched a campaign called “Free the Internet.”
She has launched an Indiegogo campaign that has raised nearly $1 million, and has already received almost $500,000 in donations.
But not everyone is on board with this campaign.
“India has not really progressed in the field of broadband yet.
We still have a lot to learn from the US,” says Vishal Gupta, an internet entrepreneur from Bangalore.
Gupta says that there is a lot that India can learn from US broadband industry, like faster connections.
“Many telcos have been providing better speeds for a long time, and this is not the case in India,” he explains.
“Telcos are getting better speeds, but this is a process that will take time, not just for India but for all countries,” he adds
on Forbes, researchers found that average internet speeds of countries ranging from 2.5Mbps to 3Mbps can be achieved within a…
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