The New America Foundation (NAF), one of the organizations leading the AIR.U Super Wi-Fi coalition, has published a study comparing the residential broadband offerings of 22 cities around the world. Unlike the FCC's recent report, the NAF highlights the disparity between highly competitive markets like Seoul and Berlin — where residents can get 100Mbit connections for as little as $24.57 per month — and cities like New York where 25Mbit service costs $35.99 per month.
The NAF's study finds that the US lags in both top speeds and affordability, but Verizon thinks that an international comparison doesn't apply to US ISPs. In an email to Ars Technica, the company said:
"While we understand a desire to attempt to benchmark US broadband and communications services packages, such studies simply do not accurately reflect the products and services that are offered, consumer demands or expectations, or the competitive realities of the countries or regions in question."
Indeed, many international markets have different regulatory structures that foster local competition — something that the NAF's report dissects in detail. It cites a 74 percent reduction in the number of ISPs from 9,000 in the year 2000 to under 2,500 in 2005 due to the FCC's decision to deregulate broadband service. The report also predicts that prices will continue to increase, pointing towards the arrangement between Verizon and SpectrumCo as a prime example of anti-competitive strategy. If you're interested in an extensive analysis on the state of US and international broadband, the NAF's report might be exactly what you're looking for.