Comcast VP Says U.S. Isn’t Falling Behind Rest Of World In Broadband, Probably Can’t Read Graphs

NetIndex stats have the U.S. ranked 21st in the world in broadband quality.

NetIndex stats have the U.S. ranked 21st in the world in broadband quality.

Companies like Comcast, Verizon, and Time Warner Cable talk about delivering “blazing fast speeds” via their broadband services, but critics have long held that the U.S. is falling behind other developed nations in providing high-speed Internet access to consumers. A Comcast VP says this is all a misunderstanding, because she apparently doesn’t know how to read.

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at a Free State Foundation policy forum that the “alleged failing and falling state of U.S. broadband” was based on outdated data and misinformation.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.

Per NetIndex, the U.S. is 34th in download speeds, 44th in uploads, and 21st in quality.

“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’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.”

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