Why are Internet Service Providers Notoriously Bad?

A brief economics lesson in competition

Aaron Schnoor
Exploring Economics


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve ever yelled at anyone.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that all of those times involved my internet service provider.

If you live in the United States, you likely know that internet providers in our country are notoriously bad.

Like really, really bad.

As I’ve done research on this topic, though, I’ve come to realize that the U.S. has it better off than most other countries. Although 66% of the global population does have some form of internet, the U.S. has some of the most reliable (and cost-effective) internet out there.

But that’s just me looking at the silver lining. Let’s not forget about the point of the issue, which is that internet service providers in the U.S. are notoriously bad. We’re talking poor customer service (with extremely long wait times), low-quality internet, and a general lack of options when it comes to choosing internet providers.

It’s the lack of options that we really need to focus on. Let’s take a look.

Limited Competition

With the exception of companies like Starlink that offer satellite internet…