GOOD

Looking for Speedy Internet? Bypass the U.S. for Romania

The United States lags behind many nations in internet access and speed, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

In many areas the United States has the advantage over Romania—workers rights, child welfare, lack of former repressive dictators—but the internet is not one of them. Specifically our access to it, and its speed. The latest State of the Internet report, a quarterly review of online trends and digital data from cloud service Akamai, ranked the US at only No. 17 in the world, far behind Japan (No. 4), Israel (No. 5), and yes, Romania (No. 6).


According to NetIndex, an online listing of internet speeds culled by U.S. company Ookla, the average download time in the United States is 28.9 megabytes—and that’s just in more populous areas. Many rural parts of the USA clock in at connection speeds of 7.3 mbps or slower. Meanwhile, Romania enjoys peak speeds of around 58.7 mbps—the second-fastest internet in Europe.

Last week the FCC voted to define proper broadband internet access as a minimum download speed of 25 mbps (up from 4 mbps). This means we’re just barely above the acceptability line.

So how did Romania get such bomb internet? First and foremost, Romania is fairly small. With a population of 19 million, statistically there will always be fewer people online than other, densely packed countries. Also, according to the United Nations’ International Telecommunications Union penetration rate in Romania is 50 percent versus our 80 percent. A smaller population, using the internet less frequently, in a tinier country all adds up to higher speeds.

In addition, Romania used its past weakness to its digital benefit. When high speed internet started becoming popular in Romania, there was no Romtelecom (Romania’s AT&T). To fill this need, small entrepreneurs began to create local neighborhood networks that were small and highly concentrated—only serving a few blocks at a time. According to ITU, many of these networks now have speeds of at least 100 mbps. Recently there have been discussions regarding the closure of these small-time operations. However, according to a study from ITU: “to date operators have not been forced to put their networks underground on a large scale and Romanians therefore enjoy access to relatively cheap broadband infrastructure in many urban areas.” Perhaps it might be time to use some of that legendary American ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit to help improve our wonky internet?

Articles
via David Leavitt / Twitter and RealTargetTori / Twitter

Last Friday, GOOD reported on an infuriating incident that went down at a Massachusetts Target.

A Target manager who's come to be known as "Target Tori," was harassed by Twitter troll David Leavitt for not selling him an $89 Oral-B Pro 5000 toothbrush for a penny.

He describes himself as a "multimedia journalist who has worked for CBS, AXS, Yahoo, and others."

Keep Reading
Communities
via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

Keep Reading
Business
via Haldean Brown / Flickr

In a typical work day, people who smoke take more breaks than those who do not. Every few hours they pop outside to have a smoke and usually take a coworker with them.

Don Bryden, Managing director at KCJ Training and Employment Solutions in Swindon, England, thinks that nonsmokers and smokers should be treated equally, so he's giving those who refrain from smoking four extra days to compensate.

Funny enough, Bryden is a smoker himself.

Keep Reading
Health