I know this sounds hard to believe, but it´s true. I was in Silicon Valley last week, at the offices of our partners Google and Sequoia Capital and this is a fact: the most successful internet company in the world, Google, and the most successful VC in the world, Sequoia Capital, have their executives surfing the internet slower speeds than the average European or Asian at home.
The only reasonable internet speeds I have found in America are those provided by cable TV companies. DSL there is on the average much slower than in Europe or Asia. One reason may be lack of competition, the other one may be that the average distance of a home from a central office is greater as people in America live further away from each other.
Internet at FON´s offices in Union Square, San Francisco, also is super slow compared to our Madrid´s office. This phenomenom may also explain why American web sites are so “light” looking compared to European web sites. See for example Youtube vs European rivals Sevenload, Vpod or Daily Motion. The Youtube, and others including Yahoo, Google, eBay, are sites designed for bandwidth poor environments. European sites don´t need to and this when telco offers are as good as the one of Neuf in France where you get up to 20 megs for 15 euros.
As a result what you see is European and Asian content companies specializing in bandwidth intensive apps and American companies specializing in massive, fast apps and end up building more valuable companies.
Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars