Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Law Review Article on U.S. Broadband Statistics

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics: Developing a Clearer Assessment of Market Penetration and Broadband Competition in the United States is available at:

Here's the abstract:

This paper examines United States broadband penetration and pricing statistics with a critical eye, in light of other contradictory compilations by organizations other than the Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The paper also compares and contrasts the FCC’s identification of broadband options in the author’s home zip code with what actual options the author could identify.

The paper concludes that the U.S. government has overstated broadband penetration and affordability by using an overly generous and unrealistic definition of what qualifies as broadband service, by using zip codes as the primary geographic unit of measure, and by misinterpreting available statistics.

The paper concludes that credible calculations, using better-calibrated measures, show a mixed outcome based on a more granular geographical and cost focus. The paper provides suggestions on how the FCC could stimulate next generation network deployment.