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.