Chris Kranky

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Broadband, too expensive in the US for me

Chris KoehnckeChris Koehncke

Verizon Wireless is busy launching a highly unremarkable value proposition of a discounted netbook computer along with a wireless broadband card. Now having just effectively shutdown the ill fated Verizon Voice Hub yesterday, you’d think they’d of learned some lessons. Namely that a $199 device, 2 year contract and $30+ a service simply isn’t that compelling a deal.

So here they go again offering an HP Netbook for $199, 2 year service contract and a $40-60 monthly service. What an unremarkable bad deal this is for the American consumer. Let me be the first to announce that this product/service is DOA.

But why? Wireless broadband in the United State is just plain uncompetitive. You only have to travel to the UK to see the difference that competition brings to the market. Three, a division of Hutchinson, will give you an Acer Netbook and wireless broadband service with no money down for a mere ~US$27 a month (2 year contract).

Already have a laptop (and who doesn’t)? Three will give you a free wireless broadband card and service for a mere ~ US$15 a month.


With a population 6 times larger than the UK, you’d think national provider Verizon Wireless could run a network even cheaper than Three (who no doubt is making money on their mobile broadband offers). In Germany, known for high quality at a price, Vodafone Germany offers a broadband USB dongle for $33 a month and no charge for the equipment.

I assume the FCC and Dept. of Commerce aren’t allowed to go to “foreign” web sites to see how the rest of the world operates, but clearly America is falling behind, ranking 15th in a list of industrial nations. The administration thinks we need to plow up Iowa and give every farmer a fiber link. Perhaps a stern chat with Ivan at Verizon about price gouging might be a less expensive start.