Comcast Global VP of public policy Rebecca Arbogast recently told the folks at a Free State Foundation policy forum that the “alleged failing and falling state of U.S. broadband” was based on outdated data and misinformation.
In regards to a claim that the U.S. is 22nd in the world in broadband, Arbogast said, “It is not true. It doesn’t even rise to the level of ‘truthiness’ in the Colbertian sense… That kind of disinformation is not a good basis for policy analysis.”
She also said it was “silly at best” to compare U.S. broadband deployment and access to that of more densely populated countries like South Korea.
Even if you believe that’s so, the stats do show that America, while providing decent service to consumers, is indeed lagging behind other developed nations in many broadband-related categories.
Just look at the most recent results [PDF] of the Akamami State of the Internet report.
Yes, the U.S. has the highest average connection speed and average peak connection speed — in the Americas — but those numbers (7.2 Mbps and 29.6 Mbps, respectively) are far below the leaders in Asia and Europe.
According to the Akamai numbers, South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Latvia, Switzerland, and the Netherlands all beat the U.S. in both stats.
In terms of broadband adoption, the U.S. (62.5%) is second to Canada (70.17%) in the Americas and far behind Japan (75.22%) and South Korea (86.40%) worldwide.
“Pretending everything is just fine is her job, and denial has long been the battle cry of the industry’s lobbyists, PR flacks, astroturfers and fauxcademics, who’d prefer things stay exactly as they are for most of us: uncompetitive and costly,” writes DSLReports.com’s Karl Bode. “United States broadband users stuck on expensive and slow satellite and DSL services in particular are surely comforted by Arbogast’s belief that they’re effectively delusional.”