Since the inception of the Internet, users have demanded faster download and upload speeds in order to quickly access and share webpages, news, photos, and videos. During the 1990s, most Internet users accessed the web through “dial-up” modems, where access was limited to 56 kilobits per second (Kbps). Today, technological progression allows some users to access the Internet at speeds of up to 1000 megabits per second (Mbps), but the average download speed in the United States hovers around 32 Mbps. This dramatic increase in Internet speeds has allowed users to peruse and explore the web in a significantly different fashion than early Internet users. For example, a High-definition copy of a two-hour movie like The Interview, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, is roughly five gigabits in size. Using a 56k dial-up modem, it would have taken a user more than eight days to download the movie. Contrastingly, with a 1000 Mbps Internet connection, the same movie can be downloaded in less than one minute.
This post was originally published on the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal website on January 25, 2015. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.
Eng, Kenneth, "Getting Up to Speed: The Disconnect Over Municipal Broadband" (2015). AELJ Blog. 56.