ITIF Ranks International Broadband Performance

12 Feb, 2013

A comprehensive report assessing American broadband networks, by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), indicates that, in contrast to some claims, the United States is in fact among the world leaders in several areas and is making significant progress in improving broadband quality and use as a whole.

Some critics of the U.S. broadband system assert that the United States is significantly lagging other nations in broadband and that we are falling even farther behind. “The Whole Picture: Where America’s Broadband Networks Really Stand” analyzes broadband in OECD nations to create a more accurate and meaningful picture of where America stands in broadband deployment, adoption, performance and price.

“Despite the frequent claims that the United States lags in international broadband comparisons, the studies cited to support this argument are out-of-date, poorly-focused, and/or analytically deficient,” notes Rob Atkinson, president ITIF. “Through this report we identify multiple areas where America is doing well, where improvement is needed and most importantly the real reasons for some areas of lagging performance.”

Among the chief findings:

  1. America enjoys robust intermodal competition between cable and DSL fiber-based facilities, with the third highest rate of wired intermodal competition in the OECD (behind Belgium and Netherlands).
  2. America leads the world in the adoption of 4G/LTE mobile broadband, a technology that’s a credible competitor at the lower end of the broadband speed spectrum and a gateway technology for bringing broadband non-adopters online.
  3. Entry-level pricing for American broadband is the second lowest in the OECD, behind Israel.
  4. The average network rate of all broadband connections in the United States was 29.6 Mbps in the third quarter of 2012; in the same period, we ranked seventh in the world and sixth in the OECD in the percentage of users with performance faster than 10 Mbps.
  5. Of the nations that lead the United States in any of these four metrics (deployment, adoption, speed and price), no nation leads in more than two.

View the report.

Illustration by cooldesign at Free Digital

Compiled from ITIF media release.

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