Where do America’s broadband networks really stand in relation to those in other countries? This topic has been hotly debated since the dawn of broadband and commercialization of the Internet, but a great deal of confusion still exists. Much of the popular analysis is out-of-date, poorly-focused, or analytically deficient. In fact, many international broadband reports appear to cherry-pick the data in order to reach a foreordained conclusion. It is difficult to draw comparisons between countries on broadband performance and the implicit impact policy plays because of so many difference in other factors, including computer ownership and population density.
Finally, users typically access the Internet today over multiple broadband networks: a wireline network where we work, another wired network at home, a wireless network while we’re on the go, and a variety of Wi-Fi networks in coffee shops, airports, conference, and hotels. We also use broadband to access both Internet-enabled services and services that aren’t part of the Internet, such as conventional television programming and conferencing. But many critics of America’s broadband policies ignore access diversity and focus exclusively on wired Internet access from the home, even though others have even greater impact on growth and innovation.
A new report from ITIF will thoroughly examine the state of international broadband comparisons to create an accurate and meaningful picture of where America stands in the critical, innovation-enabling dimensions of broadband deployment, adoption, performance, and price, highlighting the areas were we need improvement and those in which we’re doing