Bandwidth envy II

Bandwidth envy II

: The French are beating us. The friggin’ French! It’s one matter for the Koreans to best us in bandwidth. But the French! Says Andrew Levy in the comments below (here and here):

Hey Jeff, to feed your envy…

I live in Paris now, and here’s what I get for my 30 Euros per month: 6mbps downstream, 1mbps upstream. 100 channels of cable television VIA DSL, and free national phone calls VIA DSL, at no additional charge.

A year ago, when I signed up, it was just 2mbps downstream with no TV, but for the same price. The market here is in a bandwidth war, with each ISP consistently raising the ante. Bandwidth go up, price stay same.

Also, I pay absolutely zero to the former national phone monopoly, France Telecom, for a land line — the DSL is completely independent of a land line (which is rendered unnecessary by the free national phone calls).

It’s not South Korea bandwidth, but it’s a helluva lot more for a helluva lot less than in the USA.

  • This is comparable to Cubans claiming their government is superior because they have universal health care. It’s laughable.
    There are inevitable tradeoffs. If you think that the French system is superior because their government provides them with cheaper broadband, you’re welcome to your opinion. However, there’s a whole lot more to living in a country than access to cheap broadband.
    Their economy has been zero growth for years. Their per capita income falls further and further behind the U.S. every day. They have negative population growth. Business is choked by over-regulation. I could go on. Don’t even get me started on the French idea of personal hygiene.
    Europe is dying, and if the price of living is paying a little more for broadband access I’ll choose to keep breathing any day of the week.

  • Yup. I had vented on much of this on my blog:
    But things appear to be even better there than what i’d found at the time I wrote that rant. When I go see the family for xmas in Paris, I’ll be sure to have a little audit of their current broadband set-ups. I wanna make sure they get the biggest bang of their bucks.

  • freddie poo

    Sounds like my iln-laws: moved to Florida and now any temperature below 85 is “freezing.” China has more bandwidth than anyh other country in the world. Tell that guy to move there.

  • You know, I’m still on dial-up and I can still do (almost) anything you can do……
    …France can keep their bandwidth; and along with the Eiffel Tower, you know where I can think they should shove it.

  • Penschool


  • Franco-phobia?
    Methinks that you misunderstand the difference between fearing France and understanding France.
    I lived in Europe for many years. I know what their political, social and economic models look like up-close and personal. Germany and France are both being crushed economically by their union and welfare-state constructs, and the European Union is a giant exercise in bureaucratic inefficiency, mismanagement and corruption.
    What I’m saying is that there’s much more to a picture than the pretty tree in the corner. In order to appreciate a work of art, you must stand back and take in its’ entirety. There’s a whole forest of problems if you stand back and take a look at it.
    The entirety of France’s picture is not a pretty one by almost any measure. As with any society, there are small parts here and there which may be looked at approvingly. However, that doesn’t make it a desireable alternative on the whole.

  • Hey Jim B! Chill out, man.
    I wasn’t saying the French government is superior, just that the DSL bandwidth is superior.
    And I’ve never even been to Cuba! Ha!
    Sounds like you need to relax and have a glass of that Chablis instead of pouring it down the drain.

  • The French government, through its still majority-government-owned France Telecom, has spent nearly $4 billion dollars (FF30 billion) on their internet system; hence, the basic monthly price for broadband may not include the taxes that must be paid to cover the initial investment by the government (and financed by debt).
    Sure, prices for broadband have been dropping in France, because the government has kept lowering the prices that France Telecom can charge to retailers.
    The French government has also been subsidizing the company to the hilt, including incredible tax breaks.
    Here’s a dense primer on broadband development in France.