U.S.-Broadband-falling-behind orthodoxy challenged again! America #1 in new Connectivity Scorecard

February 24, 2009

Kudos to Saul Hansell of the NYT Bits blog “Surprise: America is #1 in Broadband” for spotlighting yet another respected source that challenges the political orthodoxy that America is falling behind in broadband/Internet competitiveness.  

  • Of course, GigaOm responded angrily with a “Broadband Damned Lies Edition” post.
  • Why is there such vitriol against reporting that the U.S. is not doing dismally in technology?
    • My explanation is that unless those who favor government intervention to mandate a digital commons (see neutralism white paper) can convince everyone that the current competitive Internet market is a dismal failure, they know it will be harder to get net neutrality legislation/regulation passed.
    • It is a perverse situation indeed when some Americans appear to desperately want America to fail, (so much so as to ridicule legitimate research and reporting) so that they can justify changing public policies. 

There are now four different non-American research efforts that have concluded that the U.S. is not falling behind the rest of the world when it comes to broadband/Internet standing. These findings are in stark contrast to the OECD, which in one of many OECD measures has the U.S. at 15th or 22nd in the world on broadband penetration. 

The new Connectivity Scorecard produced by researchers at the University of Calgary in Canada, in conjuction with Nokia/Seimens, — ranks the U.S. #1 in the world based on the connectivity measures they believe are most important.

Last year in the 2008 World Competiveness Yearbook produced by the Swiss business school IMD, ranked the U.S. #1 in the world for the 14th year in a row.  

In the last World Economic Forum Competitiveness Report for 2008-2009 the U.S. ranked #1 in the world in competitiveness.

Finally, the latest Economist Intelligence Unit report ranked the U.S. tied for second in the world for e-Readiness.

Bottom line:

Four of the world’s leading non-American sources of research on broadband/Internet rankings of countries in the world, all independently conclude that the U.S. is not precipitously falling behind the rest of the world like the OECD rankings claim and the neutralism movement preaches. 

To believe the OECD orthodoxy folks that the U.S. is without question falling behind the rest of the world in Broadband/Internet — one has to believe that all these sources are individually and collectively:

  • incompetent,
  • biased in the same way, or
  • involved in a some weird conspiracy to lie for the U.S.

Any reasonable person would have to admit that the question of whether the U.S. is falling behind in broadband/Internet competitiveness is at a minimum — debatable.

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