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Only One US City Makes "Top Ten Internet Cities Worldwide" List 240

Posted by samzenpus
from the clicking-it-twice dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A new report today has ranked the Top 10 'Internet Cities' around the globe, based on a set of five criteria: connection speed, availability of citywide WiFi, openness to innovation, support of public data, and security/data privacy. One might expect high-tech cities like San Francisco and Tel Aviv to appear on a list of 'Internet Cities,' but they don't. Indeed, no Middle Eastern cities appear here at all, and — due, largely, to the United States' poor Internet speeds — the only US city to make this ranking is Seattle."
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Only One US City Makes "Top Ten Internet Cities Worldwide" List

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  • by MetalliQaZ (539913) on Monday August 26, 2013 @05:27PM (#44680483)

    Okay, that may be so, but can we get list of highest telco/cableco profit cities? I bet USA totally rocks that list.

    • by rwa2 (4391) * on Monday August 26, 2013 @05:32PM (#44680523) Homepage Journal

      Don't worry if your city wasn't included, I'm sure it's on this "Top 100" list:
      http://www.symantec.com/about/news/release/article.jsp?prid=20120215_01 [symantec.com]

      Heh, marketing.

      • by div_2n (525075)

        Any sufficiently large list of cities remotely dealing with "Internet" that don't include Chattanooga, TN, with it's 1Gig FTTH option for pretty much the entire city is a load of crap.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Suprised even one made it. THeres a whole lotta places in the world that are so far ahead of the U.S. in many ways...

      • by Dog135 (700389) <dog135@gmail.com> on Monday August 26, 2013 @08:59PM (#44681949)

        Of course Seattle made the top 10. We have more coffee shop hot spots per capita then anywhere else on Earth.

    • by Seumas (6865) on Monday August 26, 2013 @05:40PM (#44680639)

      Actually, the really important metrics are less "how fast and how easily available", but how controlled, censored, and monitored?

      I'll take my 30mbps, home-bound-connection-only service without censorship or monitoring (if it existed) over 200mbps or free city-wide-wifi anywhere that content is heavily filtered or monitored any day.

    • If you make the list about profit per user, Canada will be number one, far ahead everyone else including the USA.

      • Not if Verison comes to Canada. I'm sure profit will completely fall away and they'll all just break even..... (inside Canadian joke, wait no - our telecom industry is the horrendously oligarchic joke).
  • Seriously? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jethro (14165) on Monday August 26, 2013 @05:31PM (#44680513) Homepage

    There are close to 200 countries in the world. The US is mentioned one time in a list of Top Ten and somehow that's not enough? Please. There are at least 190 countries that don't even have ONE city mentioned.

    • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MetalliQaZ (539913) on Monday August 26, 2013 @05:33PM (#44680533)

      Those countries aren't the worlds biggest economy. Those countries didn't pioneer the Internet.

      • by Jethro (14165)

        Be a pretty boring list if the top ten cities were in two countries.

        Just cause something started at one place doesn't mean other places can't make it better. ESPECIALLY smaller places. The infrastructure in the US sucks, and we all know it. I don't see why we're at all surprised.

        • by 1s44c (552956)

          Just cause something started at one place doesn't mean other places can't make it better. ESPECIALLY smaller places. The infrastructure in the US sucks, and we all know it. I don't see why we're at all surprised.

          Why does it suck? What's going wrong there?

          • by mcl630 (1839996)

            Short answer: lack of competition in service providers

            • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

              by similar_name (1164087) on Monday August 26, 2013 @06:41PM (#44681159)
              I think that's because infrastructure doesn't lend itself to competition. With competition we might get 4 - 30mbps connections to each home instead of just 1 100 mbps connection. I know it's sacrilege in the U.S. to suggest that some things really should be handled by the government but infrastructure really should be. I don't need competing water mains or roads brought to my house. In the same vein, even an incompetent government can put up infrastructure cheaper than the private industry simply because a truly competitive market would require multiple infrastructures.

              Consider, 4 providers, each putting up their own infrastructure. Not only are efforts duplicated, but the users are split. So each provider will only get about 1/4 of the subscribers in an area. Which means costs will be about 4 times higher. Not a very good system at all. Now, because infrastructure naturally monopolizes anyway, we wind up with a private company having a monopoly on infrastructure and we have what we have.

              At least that's my humble view.
              • by xevioso (598654)

                So you are saying that the government of the US, the same government that authorized the NSA to spy on it's own citizens, should be responsible for setting up our internet infrastructure? Am I reading you correctly?

                • Re:Seriously? (Score:4, Insightful)

                  by similar_name (1164087) on Monday August 26, 2013 @07:50PM (#44681643)
                  Sadly, the NSA will tap it, regardless of who builds it. Much of the internet infrastructure was initially setup by the government. It was developed by DARPA after all.
                  • Re:Seriously? (Score:4, Insightful)

                    by AHuxley (892839) on Monday August 26, 2013 @08:18PM (#44681759) Homepage Journal
                    The NSA likes the US copper and and hybrid fiber-coaxial last gen slow. Too fast and they have to upgrade their local backhaul too.
                    Everybody is happy, the shareholders get to keep generational wealth flowing from 'rent' rather than a wasting their profits on constant upgrades (just looking after and expand existing networks).
                    The cities and local govs have deals with existing providers. The NSA has its "legal" ways in with existing infrastructure. Marketing can sell you on how lucky you are to have hybrid fiber-coaxial/copper/optical areas while keeping business plans safe from their consumer grade offerings. The only hard part is to keep the US public in the past about existing telco infrastructure. The words magic words distance and socialism still seem to have their hold on the minds of many.
              • by dgatwood (11270)

                I know it's sacrilege in the U.S. to suggest that some things really should be handled by the government but infrastructure really should be.

                You're half right. Infrastructure should be initially built by the government, but immediately spun off as a nonprofit corporation, a la TVA. This has the advantage of taking the profit motive out of the equation, while at least reducing the specter of government control, censorship, spying, etc.

          • by jon3k (691256)
            Two reasons:
            1) It's not subsidized by the government via taxes.
            2) The US is large and has a low population density, which makes it more expensive to deliver service.


            The other thing I've wondered is, what is our cost relative income? We may pay more, but we make more -- but do we normalize based on per capita income?
            • The other thing I've wondered is, what is our cost relative income? We may pay more, but we make more -- but do we normalize based on per capita income?

              Those kinds of things are very difficult to judge, because you're only looking at the comparative cost of one metric.

              I live and work in Hannover, Germany. According to various "how much should I earn" websites, my income (as a senior software developer) is in direct exchange rates similar to the average income for a senior software developer in the US. The US is a big country with quite a lot of variance, so I suspect the average for a software developer in New York City or San Francisco is probably somew

      • Re:Seriously? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by metrix007 (200091) on Monday August 26, 2013 @06:09PM (#44680911)

        The US is no longer the worlds biggest economy. The US hasn't done anything to improve the internet in quiet some time.

        Unless you count surveillance and censorship.

        • What is your basis for stating that the US is not the world's biggest economy? What divisions constitute an economy in your list? I know on wikipedia, for example, that the only thing bigger than the United States' GDP is the European Union. Comparing the United States to the EU seems a bit apples and oranges. If you are comparing supranational economies, then a more valid comparison would be the EU and the NAFTA countries. Which when combining the GDP of Canada, United States and Mexico, the total is sever

          • by metrix007 (200091)

            How is it apples and oranges to compare the EU to the US? Both the US and EU are unions consisting of states. That the states in the EU are also separate countries doesn't seem to have as much a bearing on the comparison as you think it ought to.

            Certainly all the lists of ranked economies, e.g. those put out by the IMF and World Bank don't have a problem comparing the EU to the US, China and the like.

      • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by 1s44c (552956) on Monday August 26, 2013 @06:17PM (#44680989)

        Those countries aren't the worlds biggest economy. Those countries didn't pioneer the Internet.

        Those countries don't have the belief that they are better than everyone else. For example Sweden would not be offended by finding out it didn't rate highest in some arbitrary test.

      • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Nyh (55741) on Monday August 26, 2013 @06:40PM (#44681153)

        But those nice guys in Geneva invented the WWW.

        • To be somewhat fair, they did base it on HyperCard or a compatible program, which is American (and at the time seemed genuinely amazing).

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anubis IV (1279820)

        Really, when I look at the list, the thing that strikes me is that a good chunk of the cities are from countries that have a small geographic footprint. For instance, to pull their rankings from the list of countries ordered by their geographic area:

        Stockholm - Sweden - #57 in terms of countries ranked by geographic area
        Tokyo - Japan - #62
        Seoul - South Korea - #109
        Vienna - Austria - #115
        Prague - Czech Republic - #116
        Geneva - Switzerland - #133
        Amsterdam - Netherlands - #135

        In every single one of those, a sin

        • Hong Kong is pretty small, and remains quite distinct from the Chinese mainland as regards political system, economy (including banking and currency), infrastructure, language, personal freedoms, educational system, border control, etc., etc. It is essentially a separate entity over which Beijing gets to exercise bragging rights.

        • by mcvos (645701)

          How is the size of the country relevant? This isn't a list of the most connected countries, but cities. And since we're talking cities, shouldn't it be the population size of the conglomeration be the most important factor? Stockholm is tiny compared to most US conglomerations. Why is New York not on the list? Or LA? Surely you should be able to connect people fairly cheaply in metropoles like that?

          The problem the US has with connecting its population has nothing to do with its geography. Well, maybe if you

    • by rwa2 (4391) *

      There are close to 200 countries in the world. The US is mentioned one time in a list of Top Ten and somehow that's not enough? Please. There are at least 190 countries that don't even have ONE city mentioned.

      OK, here's another "Top 10 Internet Countries" from earlier this year made just for you:
      http://www.bloomberg.com/slideshow/2013-01-23/top-10-countries-with-the-fastest-internet.html#slide1 [bloomberg.com]

      Spoiler: US is not on the list; Israel is.

      But I've kinda learned from all the BuzzFeed lists spam not to pay attention to any of these lists.

      • by Jethro (14165)

        I'm just saying we shouldn't be all surprised by this list.

        Funny thing, when I lived in Israel the fastest "internet" you could get was a 33.6k modem, and even that couldn't stay online for more than a couple of hours, and the absolutely BEST ISP had ONE T1 line to the actual internet...

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          Interestingly enough this list reads like a list of the biggest capitols on the planet. That makes the entire list far less interesting. The fact that you can get good internet in Stockholm is not nearly as interesting as how that compares to what you might see up in the fiords.

          NO country has more than one city on the list, that includes countries that are elevated above the US in these metrics.

          • by Jethro (14165)

            Here's my thing. I live in Minneapolis (more or less) and I can get consistent download speeds of 3 megs per second. Is it the fastest in the world? No. Is it MORE than enough? Yes, it is. So I don't have gigabit fiber to my house. So what? Sure, it'd be nice, and one day it'll get here and be considered slow. I can live with that.

          • Interestingly enough this list reads like a list of the biggest capitols [sic] on the planet.

            According to Wikipedia, the 10 largest national capitals by population are:
            Beijing
            Tokyo
            Moscow
            Seoul
            Djakarta
            Tehran
            Ciudad de México
            Lima
            Bangkok
            London

            So, no, it doesn't.

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday August 26, 2013 @05:54PM (#44680777)

      There are more than a few people out there who seem to think that there are two positions one can be in: #1 and utter crap, at least when it comes to the US. So if the US isn't #1 in something, then it is utter crap, a third world shithole, a loser, etc.

      In come cases it is the overly zealous "We're #1" America lovers who really do think the US is the best EVAR at everything. They just can't handle second best at anything, ever.

      In more cases it is people who like to hate on the US, for whatever various reasons, and thus see it as a way to say "See! Look at how bad the US is! It isn't the best! It sucks!"

      It is very silly, but you see it on Slashdot plenty given that the site has a large number of users with poor world awareness and a dislike for the US (most of them being US citizens).

      The same shit went on when there was a story about China having the #1 super computer on the Top 500 list, for the moment. Somehow the fact that the US has the the #2, 3, 5, 6, and 8 (half the top 10, in other words) didn't seem to matter. The US wasn't #1, so clearly they fail.

      • by Jethro (14165)

        That's a much more eloquent way of saying what I was trying to say, yes (:

        I think it'd be nice if Americans in general were more OK with NOT being #1, and look at it as an opportunity for improvement.

        • I'm an American, and I'm fine with not being #1. I'm even fine with not being #1 overall. Personally, I think we currently have the best overall country in the world, but I'd like to see a better one or two. Nothing brings out the best in the US than competition, or at least it did. Looking around at people here, I'm not so sure anymore, but I'd love to see it. Perhaps it's time for someone else to step up to the plate. There is nothing that says the US has be #1 forever, nor should it. The world is

    • The US also isn't your typical country. It's far more comparable to the EU as a whole than to any one EU country. We have

      5 cities in europe (four of which are in the EU).
      2 cities in north america
      3 cities in east asia

      Having said that i'm always very dubious of this sort of thing. I don't see anything in the article about how the critera were assessed and weighted. Nor any information on what citiees were assesed and didn't make the cut. I don't think this should be regarded as anything more than one reporter

  • weird list (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tumbleweed (3706) on Monday August 26, 2013 @05:41PM (#44680641)

    Seattle's connectivity is pretty abysmal, unless you live in the tiny areas of downtown Seattle serviced by CondoInternet.net. Other than that, you're lucky if you can get Comcast (trust me, there are FAR worse ISPs than Comcast).

    • by BrookHarty (9119)

      Seattle's connectivity is pretty abysmal, unless you live in the tiny areas of downtown Seattle serviced by CondoInternet.net. Other than that, you're lucky if you can get Comcast (trust me, there are FAR worse ISPs than Comcast).

      Agreed, lived here for almost 20 years, and I've had ISDN/IDSL and DSL on Qwest or Frontier (sucks) living in major suburbs of Seattle. I'm on comcast now and I dont want to ever go back. Plus the digital cable is better than Frontier anyday.

      • by Tumbleweed (3706)

        Agreed, lived here for almost 20 years, and I've had ISDN/IDSL and DSL on Qwest or Frontier (sucks) living in major suburbs of Seattle. I'm on comcast now and I dont want to ever go back. Plus the digital cable is better than Frontier anyday.

        I never tried Frontier, but Qwest's speeds are pathetic. DSL speeds worse than cellphone connections! The worst one I've ever used was Broadstripe. Criminally incompetent. *shudder*

  • ...which is no longer such an awesome claim to make, especially since now Spokane (2nd largest city nowadays) is bragging about its 100 square block public hotspot.

  • Seattle? Seriously? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Monday August 26, 2013 @05:45PM (#44680681)

    I work in Seattle. Here (at UW) our internet is pretty good, as you might expect - but the city as a whole is nothing to write home about. Of course there's a Starbucks on every corner, so perhaps the city scored well based on the availability of that AT&T free wi-fi...

    Reading the article, it appears Seattle scored highly based, at least in part, on things they say they plan to do. And I must admit our local guys are very adept at talking a good game. But come on... they just killed the almost stillborn city-wide wifi network! Talking is basically all they're good at!

    • I work in Seattle. Here (at UW) our internet is pretty good, as you might expect - but the city as a whole is nothing to write home about. Of course there's a Starbucks on every corner, so perhaps the city scored well based on the availability of that AT&T free wi-fi...

      I assumed when I saw Seattle as the only U.S. city on the top ten list that the survey was a proxy for Starbucks density.

      Cheers,
      Dave

  • For example why would LTE be in a criteria for free and fast? Tokyo for example has great mobile coverage and speed, but not a lot of free wifi. Being a tourist having free wifi is better than no access because your phone cannot be used on the network or the cost is prohibitive. Maybe a better breakdown than what is in the article is required, because getting internet access in London is easier than Toyko; although the speed is not as fast.

    • For example why would LTE be in a criteria for free and fast? Tokyo for example has great mobile coverage and speed, but not a lot of free wifi. Being a tourist having free wifi is better than no access because your phone cannot be used on the network or the cost is prohibitive. Maybe a better breakdown than what is in the article is required, because getting internet access in London is easier than Toyko; although the speed is not as fast.

      The ratings are for speeds available to local residents. They were not concerned about accessibility for tourists.

      I also noticed the lack of wifi hotspots accessible by non-Japanese in Tokyo regardless of whether they were free or not.

      At least you could go to McDonald's or the Apple Store for free wifi.

      • That's one thing that truly sucks about Mainland China. In order to use most free wifi hotspots there, you must register with a Chinese mobile number.

        Or talk the girl at the counter into letting you have her passcode and phone number. (It helps if she thinks you're exotic and cute.)

  • They list Montreal, and their primary reasons are laughable.

    They say Montreal does very well in speedtests because of... OVH. Wait, what? That's a dedicated server and cloud services provider, they have nothing at all to do with consumer broadband in Montreal. Maybe this is a positive for businesses, but it has zero bearing on your average Montrealer. The second reason is the Ile Sans Fil people, who install free wifi access points... except their coverage is non-existent. They've got 260 access points. The

    • You find that many places post these amazing Speedtest scores. There was some ISP in Riga (Latvia) that was showing extremely high results... However when you do some more extensive testing it doesn't seem to bear out. So why is that? Well because they run their own Speedtest server and operate their stuff like a big WAN.

      It is not so hard to provide a big link internal to your network. It is a lot harder (meaning more expensive) to provide enough backhaul to make it fast to the majority of the world.

      I mean

      • by Guspaz (556486)

        Right, except OVH in Montreal is a datacenter. They really do have an obscene amount of bandwidth to the rest of the internet. The problem is that the "list" is counting a datacenter as a broadband ISP. They're not, they're a datacenter.

        Plunking an enormous datacenter down next to a city doesn't suddenly make it a futuristic super internet city...

    • Uh, yeah... this is a story about internet connectivity and not which cities are the best for people to leech off from free wifi. A lot of people have houses with wired internet service from an ISP that they "PAY" for.
  • Socialist countries heavily subsidize infrastructure at taxpayer expense, but either way, the bills have to be paid. I like my freedom and control over my income, so I don't mind paying going market rates. I realize it's not comparable to $10/mo for gigabit like it might be in stockholm because the other $60 is publically funded.

    Tat said, I do believe the infrastructure could be improved, but that other things like rollbacks on data monitoring are more important.

    • by Sique (173459)
      For some reason I don't believe the $60 figure you are pulling out of your ass. For some reason I rather believe the $10 covering the whole cost. In my country, a telco based in a foreign country offers €10/mo. data plans for their UMTS based internet access. I don't believe this telco is somehow subsidized by my taxes.
      • by Sique (173459)
        Just to prove my point: 9 GBytes/month. for €9 via UMTS [telering.at]. And no, I am not a customer there. I have a 30 mps / 4 mps fibre connection for 30 €/month.
      • by jon3k (691256)
        I'm not sure exactly what you're trying to say, but the best I can tell is you're confusing 1Gb/s service that epyT-R is referring to with 9GB total monthly bandwidth cap service you linked. These are two totally different measurements. The one you linked is 7Mb/s with a 9GB cap.
    • I live in Stockholm, and you've obviously no idea what you're talking about.

  • by bmo (77928) on Monday August 26, 2013 @06:02PM (#44680843)

    Really?

    >hit print button hoping it gives the whole article
    >only first page

    tmp;dr

    Even Cracked only divides up their "top 10" lists into two pages.

    --
    BMO

  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Monday August 26, 2013 @06:09PM (#44680921) Homepage

    Yet another "top 10" list. Can I get a list of the top 10 top 10 lists? Seriously, I'm tired of articles that amount to "someone's list of top 10 X will shock you!"

  • I find it interesting that support of public data.and security and data privacy are supposed to be part of the criteria they are never mentioned in the ratings.

  • by shadowrat (1069614) on Monday August 26, 2013 @08:06PM (#44681713)
    The summary makes it sound like we have somehow fallen behind. I notice the following countries also only have 1 city in this list:
    • South Korea
    • China
    • Japan
    • Czech Republic
    • Netherlands
    • Canada
    • Switzerland
    • Sweden
    • Austria

    So no country on the list had more than one city. There's lots of other countries that aren't even on here.

  • I really don't care what kind of world-wide lists we're first on. We should stop obsessing about what people in Europe or Asia do or think.

  • One might expect San Francisco to make the list only if one has never lived there. As a tech Mecca its communication infrastructure has been filled to bursting and expanded by any means necessary time and again...

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