by Joseph Weisenthal

Forrester Misreads Results Of Own Broadband Study

from the another-useless-report dept

There's plenty to be concerned about over the state of the US broadband market, and there's certainly no shortage of hand wringing about the rate of broadband penetration compared to other countries. So you'd think an analyst firm would try to cut through the hype to get at the real story. Think again; Forrester Research is out with a new report declaring ominously "China Ahead Of US In Broadband Adoption". The firm says the findings are a wake-up call to US politicians that something must be done, since broadband is so important to the US economy. However, their findings read a bit differently than you might think. Instead of an apples-to-apples comparison of the two markets, Forrester only looked at four metropolitan areas in China, and found that 41% of their households had broadband compared to 40% for the entire United States. That's quite a bit different than saying the US is behind China, and is actually quite a useless fact. Still, by playing on the twin fears of broadband penetration and the fear of falling behind China, Forrester has done a good job of ensuring that its report gets in the news and in the hands of politicians. And just to help out to make the comparisons fair (as we're sure Forrester meant to do), we've done some research of our own comparing overall Chinese broadband penetration to that of urban areas in the US. It seems that on that tally, the US leads in the vicinity of 45% to 8%. That's on us, Forrester, totally gratis for your next report.

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  • identicon
    the cio mag, 26 Jul 2006 @ 12:29pm

    cio magazine published something like this too

    CIO.com Article i just read about china going bannas on ipv6 and their plan of world dominance and a large part of it has to due with the spread of their broadband users. currently broadband users in china get like 1 internet ip address that is shared among avg of 26 people. in the states its something like i broadband user could have 6 address to themselves. the article predicts some gloom and doom stuff but not that much.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      TV's Frank, 26 Jul 2006 @ 1:59pm

      Re: cio magazine published something like this too

      The WORLD is moving on ipv6, China doesn't have any significant lead on adoption. They are simply following the trend that the rest of the civilized world (- the USA) is taking on digital communications technology. The US will be hurded into the fold however, I recently read an article *somewhere* to the effect that that any net gateways that don't encapsulate ipv4 in their ipv6 set up (translation: that are passing on only ipv4 traffic) by a certain date, and I want to say 2008, will be effectively aced out of the net at large. Or something.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    jsnbase, 26 Jul 2006 @ 4:34pm

    Active or passive?

    The post suggests that 'misrepresents' might be a better verb choice here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mark Hall, 26 Jul 2006 @ 7:02pm

    135M US versus 105M China

    Using the 45 and 8 precent figures against the actual population gives a pretty close race. 300M in US and 1,314M in China. With 350,000 Chinese versus 50,000 engineering undergraduates in the US their demand for broadband
    will only accelerate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    JustMe, 27 Jul 2006 @ 9:34am

    Engineering grads

    I recently read something in Time (or US News or Newsweek, they all blur) that talked about those engineering programs. IIRC there were actually very few programs in China that compared to a 4 year US/Canada/UK engineering degree. The bulk of those 350,000 attended a mix of 2 year technical schools and other technical training. The gist of the article, to me at least, was that most of these engineers will turn out to be machine operators.

    When talking about the level of skills (hard and soft) learned in a engineering school, I don't think you can compare a 4 year degree with a community college degree. I'm not looking to start a riot over the quality of community colleges. I attended one before transferring to a 4 year school. I'm saying that smaller 2 year schools don't generally have the same budgets, teachers, or total class time as a 4 year program.

    Finally, I think that China is within it's rights to talk about 350,000 engineering grads every year, but as information consumers we need to consider the source.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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