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Across much of Europe, consumers can choose among dozens of broadband providers, offering faster and less expensive Internet access than is available to most Americans. The situation is similar in Australia and in some advanced broadband markets in Asia, like Hong Kong and Singapore. Consumers who are unhappy with their broadband providers — if, for example, they suspect that their Internet use is not getting priority treatment — can simply switch.
In the United States, by contrast, many consumers can choose between only two broadband providers — one offering service over the phone lines, the other via cable. Others have no choice at all. U.S. regulators, unlike their counterparts elsewhere, have not generally required broadband providers to open their networks to competitors.
This fuels suspicions about the intentions of broadband providers, as well as the demands for network neutrality.