New Study Offers A Refreshing Twist On Broadband Stats

from the penetration-benchmarks dept

How the US fares in terms of broadband adoption compared to other countries has been the subject of considerable debate. A recent report put out by the OECD warns that the US is falling behind other countries, although the report didn’t take into account other factors, like population density. A new study from a Washington think tank looks at broadband adoption in different countries, but frames the issue a little differently (via Jeff Nolan). Instead of just looking at raw numbers, the study takes into account the economic, political and geographical factors that might affect adoption in one way or another. So, for example, it argues that Turkey and Portugal are actually doing very well, particularly when you factor in economic conditions. Conversely, Korea and Japan aren’t the broadband miracles that they’re made out to be. As for the US, the study claims that it’s underperforming relative to its potential. There are certainly going to be quibbles with the study’s methodology, particularly as it seems difficult to ascertain where a country’s broadband penetration should be as opposed to where it is. But it makes a lot more sense to look at the factors that make each country’s situation unique, rather than just comparing them all as if conditions were uniform, which ultimately results in scaremongering and political posturing.

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Comments on “New Study Offers A Refreshing Twist On Broadband Stats”

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noauraclones says:

i have to agree with wnyght

i love a good study but have to laugh that it costs 3 million to find out this useless info.

We live in a capitalistic society meaning that a study like this is totally wasted and useless. We WOULD have great broadband availability IF those companies could find a way to make it profitable in less dense areas.

Now if the government actually did something and took control of the broadband infrastructure maybe our tax dollars would finally be used for something useful…a nice high speed connection to everyone.

Sanguine Dream says:

Re: Re:

I agree. The government has a hand in our health care system and look at the turmoil its in. You don’t have to go see Sicko to know that the system is terrible. Rates going up, premiums going up, but compensation and options staying the same or even going down sometimes.

And if you want another example look at Social Security. I it wasn’t for their older relatives people under the age of 45 would be pretty much wasting their money paying to a system that looks likely to be drained when the baby boomers retire.

While don’t want the issue of neutrality to be left up to broadband providers and ISPs I sure as hell don’t want the government steeping in. I don’t even want to think about the “provisions”, “authority”, and “liberties” the government would give itself if it stepped in on the issue.

Shalkar says:

My Opinion is:

Yes the WIMAX. I say, the government should set up WIMAX everywhere firstly because it would boost the ability of the people to aquire information and secondly because then you would have a land based infratructure set up in case our communication satellites got knocked out. Which, is alot easier than one might think. If we were to go to war with another nation that is…

Anonymous Coward says:

i love a good study but have to laugh that it costs 3 million to find out this useless info.

Now if the government actually did something and took control of the broadband infrastructure maybe our tax dollars would finally be used for something useful…a nice high speed connection to everyone.

Isn’t the usefulness of studies like this that they demonstrate whether government should get involved? If your broadband is pretty much in line with your needs, as an economy, why should the government take control of it? The only justification for state involvement would be that a lack of internet access is in some way holding the economy back, and the market, for some bizarre reason, can’t fix this. This seems to show that isn’t the case.

I can’t help but think that many of the earlier studies that complain about low broadband penetration in countries like the US and UK are likely influenced in some way by ISPs: it supports whatver arguments they want to make for government support and spending. This seems to demonstrate that there’s no need for that.

Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) says:

Government is not the answer!

All those who think the government will be the answer are ignoring the fact that everything the government oversees costs more, is less efficient, and is rife with corruption. Private companies do it better! (Is that a bumper sticker?) Free markets respond to customers. If there ends up being a benefit for the corporation then they will perform the task of providing a service. Then we are all happy. If it costs too much for the customer then they won’t buy the service. The private company will either die or adapt to serve it’s customers in a way it can make money. The government will force a service, throw ungodly amounts of money at it (most of which will benefit a friend or themselves), and raise our (middle class) taxes. The rich get the tax breaks, the poor get the service, and those actually working for a living get the bill. That is why it cost the taxpayers $330,000 to build an outhouse (no running water) in a national park in Pennsylvania.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Government is not the answer!

The thing to think about here is that the government nor the companies are the clear cut answer. Corporations are just as (if not more) corrupt as the government. Ideally free markets do respond to customer choice but these days corporations will do whatever they can to stack the deck in there favor (do predatory pricing, borderline slave labor, and/or monopoly ring a bell?) and will pass the cost on to whoever they can stick it to (usually meaning us the customers).

I’d like to see which cell phone carrier(s) would really come out on top if they all didn’t have their little comfort zones (i.e. areas where they are the only carrier) and had to actually compete against each other for customers. The same goes for broadband internet.

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