U.S. broadband service is competitive with other nations, researcher says
Long-held notion that the U.S. has fallen behind many other nations is largely incorrect, think tank finds
IDG News Service - The U.S. has better broadband service than some critics give it credit for, with speeds, availability and prices that are competitive with many other developed nations, according to a new study from a tech-focused think tank.
While the U.S. still lags in some broadband indicators, particularly adoption, the country ranks in the top 10 among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations in several other broadband measures, according to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF).
"The United States has made rapid progress in broadband deployment, performance, and price," the report said. "Taking the high cost of operating and upgrading broadband networks in a largely suburban nation, the prices Americans pay for broadband services are reasonable and the performance of our networks is better than in all but a handful of nations that have densely populated urban areas and have used government subsidies to leap-frog several generations of technology ahead of where the market would go on its own."
That conclusion comes in stark contrast to assessments from digital rights groups such as Free Press and Public Knowledge and Susan Crawford, a former science advisor to President Barack Obama, who has argued that U.S. broadband service is slow and expensive compared to many other countries.
Large broadband providers have "divided up markets," eliminated competition and given U.S. residents "second-class access," Crawford told journalist Bill Moyers last week.
The ITIF report, released Tuesday, paints a different picture. The U.S. has the third-highest rate of wired intermodal competition in the OECD, behind Belgium and Netherlands, the report said.
About 89% of U.S. residents have a choice of five or more broadband providers, counting mobile and satellite, and 85% have a choice of two or more wireline broadband providers, the report said.
The average network rates of all broadband connections in the U.S., residential and commercial, was 29.6M bps in the third quarter of 2012, with the country ranking eighth in the world, the ITIF said. More than 80% of U.S. residents have access to a cable broadband network that will eventually be capable of delivering 100M bps, raising concerns among European authorities that they are falling behind the U.S., said Richard Bennett, a co-author of the ITIF report.
While the highest-speed broadband services in the U.S. are expensive, compared to other countries, the country has the second-lowest cost per capita in the OECD, behind Israel, for entry-level pricing, the report said.
In real-dollar costs, the U.S. ranked in the middle of OECD for broadband prices for speeds under 20M bps, and fourth most expensive for broadband service above 20M bps.
The U.S. is 15th among OECD nations in broadband adoption, the ITIF report said.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts