America’s Not Really Tops In Broadband

Just a country of hard workers

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[ Technology]

Americans are more economically productive with broadband than any other country, according to new research. But that doesn’t mean the US in number one in broadband.

Likely major ISPs and backbone providers will gleefully point to Saul Hansell’s New York Times blog—and his headline: Surprise: America is No. 1 in Broadband—in rebuttal to criticism of how they’ve built out their networks.

The Connectivity Scorecard, developed by Leonard Waverman, dean of Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary, offers a holistic comparison of how governments, businesses, and consumers use the Internet for economic productivity. No surprise the US rocked that category—we’re always working, man.

And we’re working on slower connections than over a dozen other countries. Think how productive we’d be if we had speeds comparable to Japan or Korea. That’s been the point of the criticism against the broadband that’s available. It’s not, as Hansell puts it, about “a new Sputnik” challenge.

The broadband problem has been that a handful of companies hamper competition by operating, if areas are lucky, duopolies, and even limit speed roll-outs and network advancements because of artificial, gradual speed build-up profit schemes.

Worse, the US government gave them $200 billion 1996 to keep America ahead in the broadband game, and they spent that money on long distance instead. The consequence of that is the US shares a place on the broadband list with Mexico and Turkey.

If the US is number one in using broadband for economic growth, then that’s thanks to the good old American workaholic spirit, not to cable and phone companies handicapping their systems. 

America’s Not Really Tops In Broadband
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  • http://www.electronics-bargain-store.com Tony Lee

    Hello Jason,

    After reading your post, I just had to jump on Google to confirm this and boy, was I surprised…..

    Found this from a UK news article:
    “Japan leads all countries surveyed with broadband speeds ranging from 63 Mbps to 93.7Mbps”.

    What the?

    Wow…..and just think….we were first on the moon….but now trailing in the broadband competition.

    Thanks for the post, it sure woke me up!

  • http://seeit1st.blogspot.com/ home design ideas

    At these few years I was thinking America is the leader in everything.
    This is very surprising me.

    • http://www.beamerfalls.ca Guest

      You have to be tongue in cheek eh? America has been slowing down against other countries for the last decade…. its a rat race out here and the fat American rat is too inward looking and the hungry active rats of the rest of the world are running circles around it.

    • http://www.911jobinterview.com Working

      Most of you think that America rocks the world .. well they told you so :) you have the right to think that way.

  • http://www.webcasinogame.com/ web

    While other countries have faster home Internet connections, a broader analysis of the use of communications and technology finds that the United States is the world leader.

  • rasmasyean

    Don’t other countries use much of their “broadband” to deliver video entertainment and other consumer things?

    I suppose if we use an increased broadband to do video conferencing and virtual office types of things, it would be great.

  • http://www.bustercollings.com/blog Buster

    more bandwidth, primarily for mobile devices would open a whole world of innovation for entrepeneurs.. you know, the real people who can stimulate the economy and create jobs. isn’t convienence a good thing? however, the government should be promoting competition and not giving money to big businesses.

  • rasmasyean

    Depending on what you do (and what your neighbors do) with the internet, 1MBPS can be peanuts. If broadband increases, more and more companies will find business models to diliver high bandwidth stuff like HD video and downloads. And maybe even high bandwidth gaming rather than those cheezy yahoo crap games. Then 1MBps would be like having 56k 10 years ago.

    Don’t foget that once upon a time, you had to spend 10 minutes to download a reall small low res “realplayer” clip from a link that someone was nice enough to convert from a VHS player…and that massive multiplayer was practically impossible unless you were playing all on campus on a T1. ;)

  • http://www.indiesurf.com Darren Tan

    It’s not surprising to know that.. I would say almost every household in the US has access to internet connection and the number is increasing at a rapid pace. Broadband companies would have some problems in providing the best connection speed to all users in the US. Another things is their population, they are the third country with the most population after China and India. :-)

    But still, broadband in the US is surely better and much faster compared to my place. :-(

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