America rules and so those of us leaving outside of the US love to pick on America the same way that those on the net love to pick on Microsoft… and recently Google. On a recent visit to the Valley however I found something that money can´t buy you: decent bandwidth. Allow me to explain, in Spain, or France, two countries in which I have homes, I have 20 megs of bandwidth for 15 euros per month. In America they get 20% of that no matter how much they pay. And not only that, American mobile/cell phone service is pitiful. The ultimate paradox was when I was at the offices of Sequoia and Kleiner Perkins to introduce FON. At two of the most successful and richest venture capital firms in the world cellular coverage went from poor to non existent and the speed of their internet went from poor to pathetic. Many times when using Yahoo outside the States, I had found that their portal, while extremely useful and still my home page, was built to LDC internet speeds compared say to what we did at Ya.com. Now I understand why!

When I enquired about the paradox of bandwidth poverty and awful cell coverage in the Mecca of the Internet the answer was invariably the same. The Bush Administration has sold its soul to the telecom giants: anti trust has been put to sleep. Personally I see a terrific opportunity to combine fiber optic technologies with wireless meshed networks to provide bandwidth services to American consumers who will most likely pay the 89 euros equivalent that people are paying Labs2 in Sweden to get 100 megs both way service.

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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Naomi on January 5, 2006  · 

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