America is Lagging in Global Broadband Because of Antiquated Infrastructure: TIA Video on CapacityFCC, Rural Utilities Service, Universal Service May 17th, 2013
Josh Evans, Reporter, Broadband Census News
WASHINGTON, May 17, 2013 – America is lagging behind a number of foreign countries in terms of broadband penetration, according to a Telecommunications Industry Association documentary entitled “Broadband Capacity: Are We Ready?”
According to the video, America’s deficiency is due to the fact that America pioneered the system and therefore has a more antiquated infrastructure, whereas many other countries established networks later, taking advantage of newer technology.
As broadband modernized, certain areas, primarily rural and low-income, have been left behind. While government funds have been made available to help expand coverage to these areas – particularly through the Universal Service Fund — many carriers have rejected the funding in order to avoid compliance with certain requirements. Other strategies should be used to establish broadband coverage, said the video.
While rural areas struggle to keep up, even the most advanced systems have problems, said the video. It focused on a school district that has adopted a high-speed broadband system and has struggled to meet the high cost of securing the network.
Although the spectrum crunch was expected to mark the end of broadband expansion, the documentary discusses how the industry has adapted to survive. Incentive auctions are held to sell off under-utilized spectrum space. While this process will take some time, significant innovations have been made in the meantime to maximize efficient use of the spectrum.