Report: L.A., NYC Internet Services Among World's Slowest, Most Expensive

Internet Cables Generic H 2014

Asian cities studied offer twice the online speeds of the largest U.S. cities

Los Angeles and New York City have among the slowest and most expensive Internet services in the world, according to a new report analyzed by L.A. Weekly. Internet connections in L.A. and NYC are equally slow, but New Yorkers pay slightly more for access.

The report, titled Cost of Connectivity 2014, was compiled by New America's Open Technology Institute, a nonprofit think tank based in Washington, D.C. It examined the cost and speed of broadband Internet access in 24 cities in the U.S. and abroad over the past three years, and found America's cities fared poorly, with the largest cities delivering the worst results.

Seoul, Hong Kong and Tokyo were "speed leaders" for Internet downloads, according to the report, with speeds of more than 1,000 megabytes per second. Services in L.A. and NYC offered half of that speed.

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L.A. Weekly's analysis noted "the price of service for a speed at which you could load a typical YouTube video (1.3 seconds) is nearly twice as much in Los Angeles ($54) as it is in Seoul ($28), ranking L.A. near the bottom by that metric." NYC consumers would pay a few cents more than L.A. — $54.68, to be exact — for identical service, the report said. 

"For the average price of a 25-to-50 mbps plan, in fact, L.A.'s $69.98 came in second to last place, according to the report," the newspaper reported. New Yorkers fared slightly better on this metric, paying an average $66.24 for the same plan.

The OTI report concluded that its data indicated "customers in the U.S. still tend to pay more than their peers in Asia and Europe for comparable broadband Internet service" and "the average cost of plans in nearly every speed tier we selected is higher in the U.S. than in Europe, and seven of the nine U.S. cities surveyed for the report have average prices that are higher than the median for plans offered between 25 and 50 Mbps download speeds."

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