WASHINGTON, February 12, 2013 - The United States is, in fact, among the world leaders in broadband deployment, according to a study released Tuesday by the Information Technology and Information Foundation.
“Through this report, we identify multiple areas where America is doing well, where improvement is needed and most importantly the real reasons for some areas of lagging performance," Rob Atkinson, president of ITIF, said at an event to market the release of the study.
Speaking at a panel discussion, ITIF’s Richard Bennett said that Hispanics and African Americans are among the lowest adopters of broadband. He also noted that high-school dropouts, no matter what race, are the lowest adopters of broadband. Areas in need of improvement are digital and physical literacy in urban areas, he said.
The ITIF study found that the U. S. “is near the top of the rankings in terms of the deployment and adoption of high-speed, wired networks and leads the [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development] in adoption of advanced wireless LTE broadband networks.” LTE refers to the long-term evolution standard for fourth-generation wireless broadband.
While not the top country in terms of speeds, the study concluded that the U.S. has one of the top ten broadband speeds in the world.
Bennett noted that statistics such as these have been helped along by a recent boom in broadband investment, including the greatest purchase of fiber-optic cables in 2011, since the internet boom in 2000.
The report and panel concluded that price may not be the biggest factor when determining who is using broadband. According to the report, the U.S. ranks second only to Israel in introductory broadband pricing. The report concludes that the country “needs to invest significantly more in policies and programs that encourage more of our residents to come online and reap the benefits of the broadband Internet.”