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Hong Kong Unimpressed By FCC National Broadband Speed Goals – “We’re Already 10 Years Ahead of You”

The United States has a goal of 100Mbps ubiquitous broadband service by 2020.  Hong Kong residents already have access to speeds up to 1Gbps, leaving many unimpressed with the American broadband goals established in the FCC’s National Broadband Plan.

City Telecom CEO William Yeung called out the current state of American broadband, noting many Americans are still stuck with megabit speeds in the single digits, while 100+ megabit access is widely available across most of Hong Kong from fiber optic networks.

Yeung thinks 100Mbps service will be considered slow by the time 2020 rolls around, noting an insatiable demand for enhanced broadband speeds.

Google’s Think Big With a Gig project underlines Yeung’s beliefs as hundreds of American communities clamor to be among those chosen for a demonstration project that will deliver up to 1Gbps speed to homes and businesses on an all-fiber network.

Yeung rejects the notion that wiring Hong Kong was a natural for super-fast fiber optic broadband just because of its dense population, reducing potential costs.

“I think it’s a matter of short term vs. long term thinking,” Yeung told Bloomberg News.

According to Yeung, American broadband providers are afraid constructing super-fast broadband lanes threaten to cannibalize their existing revenue streams, especially from cable television.  That’s because Americans could end up dropping their cable packages in favor of watching everything online.  Yeung also thinks Wall Street is preoccupied with short-term Return on Investment, making it difficult to upgrade to fiber service despite the enormous potential long term revenue, even in rural areas.

For Yeung, it’s all about marketing the benefits of fiber.  His company, City Telecom, is busily signing new subscribers despite the fact the island already enjoys near-universal broadband access.  Offering faster speeds and better service will drive customers to switch providers, Yeung believes.

Bloomberg News talked with City Telecom CEO William Yeung about fiber-optic broadband and the fact Hong Kong is well ahead of the United States on broadband speed and service.  (4 minutes)

City Telecom’s HKBN service has a history of running bizarre advertising.  One recent example is included here, along with a short promotional video touting the company’s accomplishments in constructing an all-fiber network.  (4 minutes)

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