Broadband as a labor issue.

download speed graphI’m happy to see that the Communications Workers of America (that’s a trade union, for all of you Silicon Valley readers who have never heard of such a thing) is launching a campaign to push for faster broadband for all US citizens. It’s a union issue because it means more jobs pulling cables and fiber. But it’s also a competitiveness issue because, frankly, US broadband speeds suck.

Driving the point home, the CWA’s Speed Matters website has a bandwidth speed calculator. I checked it from work, and was feeling pretty smug about the way Ziff Davis’ pipes had the speed meter pegged at 10Mbps+. But then I took a look at how it compares to international speeds. If we were in Japan, my office’s paltry 20Mbps would be terrible. And the 3Mbps I get at home: Only slightly better than dialup, really. We can, and should, be doing better.

Broadband as a labor issue.