Award Winning Blog

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Boring into Broadband Penetration Statistics

In preparation for a conference on network neutrality, I am taking a closer look at broadband penetration statistics in the U.S. and in other countries. I conclude that broadband policy should address both accessibility and affordability.

The U.S. has achieved a mixed record in broadband penetration not accessibility. In other words while some potential subscribers can access broadband at "best practices" rates, others have quite high charges to consider. Normalizing rates on a per 100 kilobit rate provides a good measure of affordability.

Promoting broadband in the U.S. going forward will have less to do with achieving geographic penetration and more with promoting lower rates. Devising a workable plan for subsidizing access is a daunting task. U.S. long distance telephone service callers contributed over $7 billion for promoting mostly narrowband, basic voice service affordability last year. The current universal service funding mechanism is expensive, flawed, prone to abuse and lacking a broadband component outside schools, libraries, and medical facilities.

Here's a link to my presentation entitled " Internet Access as Essential Infrastructure: Public Utility, Private Utility or Neither?":

1 comment:

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