Only 48 hours into a trip to the United Kingdom, it is readily apparent how much more well connected the people on the northeastern shores of the Atlantic Ocean are.
From the moment we landed at Heathrow, internet connectivity was abundant, fast and most importantly, free. My new iPhone 5 found no less than three FREE internet options within the vicinity of Heathrow’s Terminal 4. Londoners are connected almost everywhere they turn.
Later in the day, as my family and I explored London (albeit bleary eyed from a bit of jet lag resulting from departing the U.S. in the evening and arriving in the UK in the morning), everywhere we went, we found free and fast WiFi. Even my 16 year old son commented on how he was amazed at the blazingly fast connection at our hotel (albeit, this connection, sadly was not free, nor cheap).
Almost every eatery and store, as we wandered down the streets of South Kensington, had a WiFi icon in the window and the staff at every establishment was more than happy to furnish us with the free WiFi key upon request. i understand that blazingly fast and free internet is abundant on the rest of the European continent (as I intend to discover for myself later this week).
So, i wonder why, the country that was integral in the development of internet connectivity seems, on the surface, to lag behind the rest of the western world in internet availability and speed at little or no cost? The world is becoming a smaller and smaller place thanks to the wonders of internet connectivity, so why, in the U.S., is it not abundant, faster and, dare I ask, free?
As consumers, we ought to pressure our government representatives, our merchants and our communities to invest heavily in free, fast and high functioning internet connectivity to keep up with our friends and business interests across the globe. It seems to me that the rest of the world is leaving us in their internet dust.