Study Says US #1 in Broadband Sparks Debate

By February 27, 2009

Touched off by a New York Times blog post entitled, "Surprise: America is No.1 in Broadband," a debate was quickly in progress Tuesday morning based on a report from Leonard Waverman of the London Business School. The report is entitled, "Connectivity Scorecard 2009," and uses new parameters to discuss and compare the connectivity of many nations. In the "Connectivity Scorecard 2009," the list of countries' investment in 21st century infrastructure reads according to "Gross Fixed Capital Formation," in this order: The United States, Sweden, Finland, the United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, New Zealand, Denmark, the Netherlands, Canada, France, Japan, Korea, Germany, Portugal, Austria, Norway, Spain, Greece, Italy, and Ireland.

Clearly, when Japan and South Korea are far behind the United States, there are new criteria being utilized. According to Waverman, the development of Information and Communications Technology, or ICT, is key to economic growth in our current global financial situation. Regular definitions of connectivity focus on the number of lines or subscriptions, but this report expands it to the productivity-enhancing tools of Telecommunications and ICT. Connectivity to LECG and Nokia Siemens Networks is "holistic interaction between a country's ICT infrastructure... and the end users, including the various skills they need to get the best usage from the tools."

According to the NY Times post , the US is number one because of its extensive use of computers and the Internet, and a technically skilled work force. Korea does not have the best business networks or skills.

Many disagree with the point this post makes. Hard workers and productivity do not mean that we have a system that is ready for the future. Stacey Higginbotham points to a future network glut as online services continue to be introduced. If we are this productive on our slower-than-most networks, Jason Lee Miller argues, think how much more we could do on Japan's or Korea's speedy Net-ways.

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