Of all the depressing statistics you can read about where America lands in relation to the rest of the world, the one that always surprises me is how far we are back in terms of technology.
I mean, if there's anything that the United States is still good at, and can still really boast about, it is its technology, right? We freaking invented the Internet (shout out to Al Gore!) But the numbers are truly ugly right now.
We rank as number 34th around the world in terms of download speed, and an abysmal 42 in upload speed, according to a recent study by Ookla Speedtest. I think the only word that can accurately describe those numbers is "unacceptable."
Luckily we've got two major companies out there right now looking to solve that problem. And both are looking to expand in major ways.
AT&T is looking to take its fiber-optic Internet service, called Gigapower, to 21 new cities, the company revealed on Monday.
Those cities include Atlanta, Augusta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale, Greensboro, Houston, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Oakland, Orlando, San Antonio, San Diego, St. Louis, San Francisco, and San Jose.
The service was originally launched in Austin last December. Earlier this month the company revealed plans to expand to Dallas, Raleigh-Durham, and Winston-Salem as well.
With this expansion, that would bring the service to up to 100 candidate cities and municipalities nationwide, including 25 metro areas. Obviously not all of these cities will be chosen as the next candidates for the expansion, and AT&T expanded on how it will be choosing the next sites on the Gigapower website.
"We're focused on markets where we provide local services, including home phone, broadband and TV," the company said. "Our next step is to identify the communities within these markets that demonstrate the strongest investment cases based on anticipated demand, and the most receptive policies. This combination will help influence our final selections."
The company expects construction and deployment of the service to begin in some communities this year.
GigaPower includes Internet speeds that reach up to 1 Gigabit per second, as well as access to TV services that AT&T Total Home DVR.
Gigapower's main competition, of course, will be Google Fiber, Google's it high-speed Internet and television service, which has been around since 2011.
While only four cities in the entire country currently have it, Kansas City, Provo, Stanford and Austin, which is getting it this year, Google announced in February that is it planning to bring the service to nine metro city areas, and 34 more cities in total.
Some of the cities that are included on the list of proposed sites are Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh-Durham, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, and San Jose.
You may notice that these two companies are going after some of the same territories. That is a great thing. Having grown up in New York City, where the only available cable service for years and years was Time Warner, I can tell you that a little competition goes a long way.
(Image source: att.com/att/gigapowercities)