Rah! The U.S. is #1 (Sort of) in Broadband - HotHardware
Rah!  The U.S. is #1 (Sort of) in Broadband

Rah! The U.S. is #1 (Sort of) in Broadband

While many have griped, complained (you name it) over the sad state of U.S. broadband, particularly when compared with other countries, some have said it's all a bunch of "hooey." A report released by economic consulting firm LECG, commissioned by Nokia Siemens Networks would tend to agree with that, putting the U.S. at #1 in broadband --- with caveats.

This placement assumes you use the so-called "Connectivity Scorecard," which measures a number of items unrelated to broadband as part of its ranking system.

If you look at the report (.PDF), you can see on page 39 the methodology followed in the rankings. Some of the questionable inclusions:
  • Monthly SMS usage per capita
  • Adjusted software spending by consumers
  • Number of 3G subscribers per 100 inhabitants
  • Internet Banking Use
  • PCs per 100
  • Secondary School Enrollment
According to the report (page 7) the reason they add all these items into the rankings is:
In summary, we use the term “connectivity” to refer to the totality of interaction between a nation’s telecommunications infrastructure, hardware, software, networks, and users of these networks, hardware and software. Thus broadband lines, PCs, advanced corporate data networks and advanced use of wireless data services are certainly measures of connectivity, but so are human skills relevant to the usage of these infrastructures, technologies and networks.
So all those teenagers generating all those SMS messages are included in this ranking? LOL! At any rate, we're still dissatisfied with my broadband speed, OK? Compare it and also percentage adoption and eliminate all this extra dross and we're nowhere near #1.

This seems to us to be more of a technology ranking than a broadband ranking, and the fact that the New York Times seems to want to put as at #1 for broadband (witness their title on this article) doesn't really make sense.
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I don't get it. The study appears to say the US is number 1 in connectivity, where does this "number 1 in broadband" claim come from? Or is that the point? I is confuzzed.

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I agree with Jeremy. Reading the report, it goes to great length to say that it deals with connectivity, not broadband adoption.

The town where I grew up only has dial-up. They've got connectivity, but not broadband.

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I think it refers to broadband connectivity in an actual sense of usage per capita. You see many countries (IE China Russia Australia India etc) have broadband and it's proliferation may be to a great extent as well. The backbone is there, but the usage in many ways is greatly metered. Take China for an example, They have a huge broadband connection ratio. However, there usage rate for each individual is minuscule compared. Take banking for an example in China. The use of individual banking there, I would bet is only available to a small number of people. Plus it is highly monitored by the government dropping the throughput ratio for an individual user significantly. The availability of computer equipment in the current technological spectrum as well is most likely not available to a large number of users. So you have Gigabyte internet throughput, but your PC backbone is 3 generations back and rather than a 1000/1 (or Gigabyte Ethernet) the greatest availability of initial PC connections is 100/1. On top of this is is monitored very stringently further dropping throughput ratio. On top of that the availability of certain things (banking, shopping, general surfing, Schooling) is also allowed on a variable spectrum. So tom in the local Provence can't afford fast equipment, he only has available to him what the government see's as fair, he has to apply for an application to bank,school, shop etc.. Each is a separate application with precursors as to his record with the local government as well as the federal government and whatever suspicions they may have, his connection if and when he gets it is monitored separately for everything he has a connection permit for, each one is monitored by at least more than 3 agencies as well. This drops his throughput ratio further, which is minuscule compared to a standard US subscriber. The cost of it is substantially more as well. So the availability to a regular person is low compared to an American subscriber. On top of that the spybots/Trojans etc. running on his PC and connection lower his bandwidth more, and he cannot uninstall them because the government put them there. So the availability of that of an average American and the services the internet offers is basically non existent.

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