For those of us who remember the modem connection sound and suffered (and suffered) through the buffering video era, it’s hard to believe that big city Americans who opt for the fastest consumer Internet packages — which run about $300 a month in most areas — can now download an HD movie in just 1.4 minutes. But compared to many places in the world, those are sluggish and expensive stats. “Downloading a high-definition movie takes about seven seconds in Seoul, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Zurich, Bucharest and Paris, and people pay as little as $30 a month for that connection.” The NYT’s Claire Cain Miller shares the stats, describes the monopolies, and explains the potential long-term economic consequences for American competitiveness. (Americans should read this story now. If you live in Seoul, you might as well wait for the movie.)

+ The Verge: Internet traffic jams are widespread in the US, and are probably about to get a lot worse. (Don’t worry. I’ll be here all week.)