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Why don’t Americans think about what Hong Kong has achieved?

There was a time when voice telephony was seen as a public utility, requiring government involvement in supply. In most parts of the world, the end result was waiting lists and poor service. Now the same refrain is being sung re broadband. Why not take a look at Hong Kong? Here is where to start.

Ms. Crawford, who is also a co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, said that American cities should take on some of the responsibility for building fiber-optic networks and providing broadband service. It is a necessity similar to electricity, she said, “something that no neighborhood or private company would have an incentive to provide on its own to everyone at reasonable prices.”

In the United States, speeds vary widely between cities and regions. The fastest speeds are in the Northeastern corridor between Boston and the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region. The three fastest areas — D.C., Massachusetts and Virginia — have average speeds greater than every country except Japan and South Korea.

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