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Oct25

The One Metric That Broadband Critics Can’t Ignore

“Americans, just 4% of the world’s population, are well served by carriers that invest in broadband deployment at an annual rate equal to one-fourth of the world’s entire broadband investment. The EU has a population more than twice that of the USA but has broadband investments of less than 25 cents for every dollar invested in America.”

That’s from Roslyn Layton, at TechPolicyDaily.com. Ms. Layton, an expert in the economics of broadband, includes an illustrative map in her post showing the large gaps in next-generation broadband coverage across Europe, which calls into question the many claims of late that U.S. broadband is “lagging behind.”  While DSL is available to 90% of Europeans, per Layton, rollout of cable, fiber and LTE projects has been slow. Perhaps the fact that Europe’s broadband investment per capita is one-eighth the size of the United States’ investment levels has something to do with this?

Compare Europe to the U.S., where three (and soon four) national carriers provide competing LTE networks today, and where wireline operators’ continued efforts to upgrade their networks results in the web getting faster every year.  Clearly, investment works. The White House has commended the U.S. broadband industry[PDF] for reinvesting nearly $250 billion since 2009, and the Progressive Policy Institute recently credited Verizon with being one of its top “Investment Heroes of 2013.”

Read Ms. Layton’s whole post here.