Why America is more backward in this day and age…

I am soon to be a traveler.

I shall wander the world with my girlfriend exploring streets, corners, cities, parks, hot-dog stands, cafes, bus-stops, tram turntables, windy roads, long & narrow paths, far stretching avenues, shops, places, patios, sidewalks, park benches, and generally anything & everything that I can do because I've never been there before.

Basically, I'm going to America in a few months.

Being the Internet-connected blog-freak that I am (I mean just look, we're at almost 500 entries now), I need a way of staying connected.

I know it's expected to be normal that everyone has an Internet connection, but apparently some places don't… so this is me looking for a prepaid wireless broadband connection in America.

And you know what I find? Not one bloody thing.

So I merely have one question for American telco's…


Australia is a lot smaller than America. Not in physical size but in population and city build. That has a lot to do with how much desert and harsh territory our landscape has to offer.

Plus, you know, we're an island continent created as a place to store prisoners. Sort of.

But even with our piddling 26-30 million people, we seem to have enough telecommunication providers for even the most fussy individual (it doesn't help that most are crap, mind you, but that's another story altogether).

So in Australia, these are the options you have for Prepaid Mobile Broadband:

  1. Dodo
  2. Optus
  3. Telstra
  4. Three (3) 
  5. Virgin Broadband

5 separate providers that offer prepaid wireless internet. I don't know which of those are any good, mind you, but it would be apparent that it's not hard to find a prepaid wireless internet solution if you're traveling in Australia for a short period of time. You know, just pick up a USB wireless internet modem or stick a SIM card in your computer (if you've got one of those new fandangled computers that lets you do that) and away you go.

But in America… it is such a hassle. So much of a hassle that I'm coming up short.

And I'm a freakin' Technology Journalist! If there's one thing an IT Journo should be able to get right, it's getting short-stay Internet in a place like America.

I mean come on… America, home of the great, land of the cheap computer deals… and yet there's no wireless prepaid net? How the hell does that work?

Now granted, our cities are much smaller. Obviously, some place like New York City has a need for more transmitters, receivers, and a bunch of networking & telecommunication hardware with over complicated names that I'd be a fool to even pretend knowing about (I'm not that type of Tech Journo)… but seriously, if I can't find a single prepaid mobile broadband supplier there that's working in a similar situation to what Australian providers have, isn't that just a suggestion of how backwards the US mobile / mobile internet game really is?

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  • Some great points, and articulated with great spirit!

    The US is most definitely behind. I just wanted to point out, however, that there are some prepaid broadband providers currently available. Check out:


    3:33 pm April 6, 2009 Reply
  • Pam

    Thanks a lot for this.. I am the most non technically minded person you could meet. I am travelling to the USA soon.. taking my laptop and at the last minute thought omg what do i do about broadband… thanks for this blog…. very helpful

    8:16 am August 16, 2010 Reply
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