Stressing how little has happened to bridge the broadband divide in the past year, FreePress admonished the gov’t regarding the OECD’s recently released (tho dated December 2006) data on global broadband penetration. According to the latest data, the U.S. — which was 12th in June ’06 — has been leapfrogged by the likes of Japan, France, and Luxembourg and is now 15 (out of the 30 OECD nations):
“We are failing to bring the benefits of broadband to all our citizens, and the consequences will resonate for generations,” said Ben Scott, policy of director of Free Press. “There is no justification for America’s declining status as a global Internet leader. Instead of more excuses, it’s time for true national broadband policy that will put America’s digital future back on track.”
Scott will lay down the disappointing facts before the Senate Commerce Committee today, according to Katie @ GigaOm.
At SavetheInternet it’s time for action.
According to the OECD, less than 20 percent of the U.S. population has broadband access. It didn’t take this long for TV to gain such widespread usage and, in my opinion, broadband Internet access is paramount in importance in today’s world.
Nearly 400 cities and counties have developed or are planning muni wi-fi broadband. But in many cases — especially in larger cities such as Philly and SF — the task is insurmountable thanks to a lack of government initiative (or complacency w/ telecom duopoly and policy gridlock).
Congress MUST pass a bill in the vein of the McCain / Lautenberg 2005 Community Broadband Act and create and pass a new telecom bill as soon as possible.
Additionally, settle The Center for Public Integrity’s lawsuit (filed months ago) demanding data on broadband deployment from the FCC. What’s to hide?
UPDATE: Ben Scott’s testimony (.pdf).
photo by Scott Beale / Laughing Squid
4 Replies to “U.S. Broadband Ranking Drops 25%”
The facts keep reaffirming that the US is falling further and further behind. The U.S. can no longer rely on market forces, deregulation, and inadequate governmental programs that have caused the U.S. â€“ the country that invented the Internet to fall behind many other countries in terms of high speed internet adoption and deployment.
After reviewing, the Communications Workers of Americaâ€™s website at http://www.speedmatters.org, I realize we must invest more on Internet buildout. We must ensure that underserved areas get access for essential application like, telemedicine, distance education, and e-government.
The Speed Matters website has a lot of good recommendation regarding how these things can be accomplished.
We absolutely need to make broadband policy a key issue in the coming year. It is crucial for education, medicine, rural development and more. We will continue to fall behind if step aren not taken. There are some good policy proposals and links to some successful programs at http://www.speedmatters.org.