First Click: Bragging about internet speeds is the new virility contest

July 17th, 2015


I’ll be first to admit it: I’ve bragged about my internet speed on the internet. And like most braggarts, I use Twitter as my blowhorn.

People still brag about the cost of their cars and the number of trophies their partner earned for beauty. And their homes, too, although a new study suggests that a big home is worthless if it’s not wired with high-speed optical fiber. But the Twitter speed brag — usually accompanied by that blue and green speedometer from Ookla — is the new yardstick for virility.

A recent Akamai study showed that the global average connection speed was just 5.0Mbps, with South Korea leading with a 23.6Mbps average. The global average peak connection speed topped out at 29.1Mbps, with Singapore besting the world with a 98.5Mbps average peak speed. For comparison, the average US connection speed clocks in at just 11.9Mbps, while its average peak speed was just 53.3Mbps — neither of which is fast enough to put the US in the global top 10. Nevertheless, it helps explain why the Ookla speedo redlines at 50Mbps in the age 1000Mbps speeds.

Increasingly, US citizens are gaining access to gigabit internet over fiber optic connections to the home. Google blazed the trail in 2012 by demonstrating demand for its Google Fiber service. Remember, it wasn’t so long ago that some misguided Time Warner Cable exec said that people didn’t want high-speed internet. Now we have gigabit services for the home offered by AT&T, CenturyLink, Cox, and even Comcast (if you can afford it).

I’m fortunate to live in a city where homes and businesses have been wired with fiber internet for years. I’m currently enjoying TV, phone, and internet all over a sustained 200Mbps / 20Mbps connection for about $75 per month. Oh, was that boastful? Sorry, not sorry.

Gigabit internet speeds remain a rarity, so say it loud and say it proud all you lucky subscribers to Google Fiber, Gigabit Pro, Gigablast, and 1Gig. Scream those speeds from the digital rooftops and bask in the likes and retweets as they rain down upon you. The more envy you create amongst your peers the more they’ll demand access to the same, helping to raise all boats in the water.

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Chortle of the day