One reader argues that dense apartment buildings make it cheaper to build broadband infrastructure. (Photo by DieselDemon)

We love it when Switch readers take the time to leave a comment letting us know what they think. So every weekend we highlight the week's most insightful comments.

In a Tuesday post I wrote about the dismal state of American broadband. Reader Mark Seidenfeld suggested an explanation for our broadband mediocrity: the "single family home architecture of the USA." He argues that "in many countries where people live primarily in apartment buildings, fiber is brought to the building or small cluster of buildings and then ethernet is simply pulled to the apartments via existing ducts."

But davidhoffman6692 doesn't buy this argument:

Please explain the much higher costs for similar service in the relatively dense metropolitan areas of Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Seattle, Portland, and Fort Worth. The population density argument is extremely bogus in the city of Chicago, where I lived for 20 years. The telephone company and cable companies have had rights of way and easements for decades that utilize the many alleys of Chicago. The telephone company in Chicago has almost unrestricted access to utility poles, as their existing twisted pair copper system utilizes these poles significantly. The entire city of Chicago should be VDSL2 capable right now. Instead the telephone company is only now considering creating a truly ubiquitous VDSL network for the city.

Brian Fung wrote about a Brazilian proposal to require the data of Brazilian citizens to be stored in Brazil. Ombudsman1 commented that the proposal reflects "deep technical stupidity." But Daniel Bacellar disagrees:

Yes, said that way, it is kind of stupid. But what they want is an alternative to Hotmail and Gmail, hosted by a brazilian public company. No citizen would be forced to use it, it would just be a secure alternative to those email services.

Diverting Internet traffic through new submarine cables and building a local, south american, infrastructure for DNS and traffic routing is not stupid: the way the things are today, to send an email from Brazil to, lets say, Argentina, it's necessary route it through USA. The new local and long distance infrastructure would even help speeding up local communications in the USA, since a lot of Internet traffic would be diverted.

Caitlin Dewey's post on how to get a job in social media generated a lot of discussion. Lauren Roberts writes:

As a graduate student in the social media program at UF, I would say that your evaluation of the program is off-point. First, it should be noted that the program is a Master's of Mass Communication, with a concentration in social media. The program goes beyond using Google Plus or Instagram, which anyone with a computer and an internet connection could figure out. We're learning about marketing strategies and tracking analytics.

Sure you could learn what's effective and what's not effective through experience, but that can be said about any field. Would you rather go to a surgeon with a medical degree and experience or a surgeon who has no degree but has been in the operating room before? I'd choose the surgeon with the degree.