Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Why the US has expensive broadband

I keep seeing all of these people whining about why the US seems to be 'behind' other countries in broadband. So I had a hypothesis: Tis NOT the evil broadband companies, but the low population density of the USA as compared to most other nations.

Population USA: ~280,000,000
Land Area USA:  3.719 Million Square Miles
Average population Density: 87.3/squre mile

Population Europe: 500,000,000
Land Area Europe: 1.67 Million Square Miles
Population Density: 265 people per square mile

Population South Korea (often cited as the 'model' country) 48.5 Million
Land Area South Korea:  38,023 Miles
Population Density:  1279 people per square mile

Finally China:

Population China: 1.35 billion people
Land Area China: 3.601 Million Square Miles
Population Density:  376 people /square mile (noting that most of china is uninhabited, so its really MUCH higher).


Low population density as related to geographic area means broadband is MUCH more expensive. You have to run correspondingly more wire, have less revenue per square mile covered, and have more infrastructure to support in order to get your population 'on the grid'.

So I don't think its 'oh the us is falling behind' but rather "We are a HUGE country, so its harder for us to have 'broadband' at cheaper prices like other countries with higher population densities.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Getting more $$$ back from my cell phone provider

It all started out as a simple quest to 'turn off' those annoying SMS messages (the spam ones) that came from the internet.

It ended up in my looking at my cell phone bill to see $10.00 for 37 messages. So after perusing the website (they make it REALLY hard to find the 'turn off all of my sms messages, dammit, button), I have turned 'off' my SMS messages on my cell phone.

I can still send and receive them via Google Voice, (for free as in Gluten Free Beer), and to others who happen to own the Superior Phone, Iphone, via apples free messaging service.

Its funny how a cell phone bill can just 'grow' without even noticing it. So after spending about 20 minutes looking at the company's website, I simply 'blocked' ALL messages (including internet ones). But you have to do it in like 3 different places all well hidden below the main menu. Obviously intended to make it really hard to turn these things off, since the Cell phone companies are making a killing off of these.  That’s 0.25/message. Almost cheaper to send snail mail, since I can get close to 2k of text on a single spaced page w/ both sides.

Oh Well.