Recently published by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, The Whole Picture: Where America’s Broadband Networks Really Stand, researchers Richard Bennet, Luke A. Stewart, and Robert D. Atkinson find that:
Despite the frequent claims that the United States lags in international broadband comparisons, the studies cited to support this claim are out-of-date, poorly-focused, and/or analytically deficient. Many international broadband reports cherry-pick the wealth of data on the subject in order to reach a foreordained conclusion. Many ignore the higher costs of building broadband networks in low-population-density nations such as the United States. Many conflate advertised and actual speeds, globally ranking the speeds that Internet service providers claim to offer though little accurate data exist outside the U.S. confirming whether customers receive these speeds in most nations. Many ignore differences between nations in computer ownership rates, neglecting the fact that people will not subscribe to broadband, no matter how cheap and good it is, unless they own a computer. Finally, while most studies take snapshots of the dimensions their authors deem relevant, a more comprehensive approach would treat each as a trend line over time. This is important because at any given time, the cost and performance of any broadband network is in part a function of the generation of technology that was current when the network was last upgraded. So there’s no inherent reason to suppose that any nation has a permanent position at the top or the bottom of the broadband technology curve.
The authors conclude that:
All in all, the state of American broadband is good and getting better, but there is still room for improvement in selected areas.
Find the whole study here.