Paul Wackell – Imagine Web Designs
Principal Website Designer – Marketing Consultant
I read an article on CNN’s website that caused me to slam my head against the wall and rant “have we really come to this?” The article entitled “Why Internet connections are fastest in South Korea” detailed the state of broadband internet access throughout the world. It also included an analysis of why things are the way they are. I must say I was bored with the political explanations, tech speak and outright speculation, what floored me was that Slovakia beat the U.S.. I can download past episodes of Lost faster in Bratislava (I looked it up on Wikipedia) than I can in Boston! (To all the stats freaks and those who love to argue for argument’s sake – before you go off on a rant that only you and Dennis Miller can follow, about the speed of your Fios, or Comcast or Xfinity, remember – we are talking average speed!)
The average broadband connection in the U.S. is 3.88Mbps. Sounds good, after all we did invent the friggin thing, (sorry Al Gore but you had nothing to do with it – thanks DARPA, is it me or does it seem warmer today?!), until you look at the countries that beat the United States in average speed.
The list reads like the box scores in World Cup Soccer. It wouldn’t surprise me that most football, baseball, and basketball watching American fans wouldn’t be surprised or even disappointed if they saw that the U.S. soccer team got their butts handed to them by Cameroon. After all its just soccer. But in internet speed! Come On!
Now as you may have gathered I’m not a fan of soccer (you can’t play it from your couch), and neither are most of the people I know (at least those who aren’t named Chad and whose mothers don’t drive minivans), but this internet speed thing! Why aren’t we the fastest? Or at least faster then Slovakia? This is the nation of NASCAR, of Indy Racing, Drag Racing, and even a gold medal winner in the Bobsled – we are the speed nation! Except, apparently, when it comes to the broadband speed.
When it comes to that the U.S. loses to – Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, France (can you believe that – to the cheese eating surrender monkeys), Latvia, Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, South Korea, Japan, and of course, Canada! I feel like hitting my head against the wall again! I hope I don’t have to take up ice curling, or worse yet, learn to speak French! At least we beat the U.K!
So why the rant? The U.S economy is dependent on the internet. No internet – no commerce! It would seem obvious that the faster the internet the more opportunity for economic expansion. Perhaps that might lead to new jobs!
So why should this matter to you? If you use your website as a marketing tool it should matter to you. If your website is cutting edge, and includes video, audio, virtual tours or the like, it is important that your customers have broadband access so you can deliver your message to them. How aggravated do you get when you have to wait for something to download from a site. If you are like me, you don’t wait! You move on – marketing opportunity lost.
So it’s 1:37am do you know what download speed your customers have? Do they even have broadband access or are they still stuck with dial up!?!
How do you find this out – get your web analytics! Call your web and marketing expert and work with them to get the information!!! Let’s win the race to economic success! USA! USA! USA!