Professor Thomas Hazlett takes issue with recent allegations that the U.S. is falling behind other nations in broadband adoption.
In a Financial Times op-ed, Hazlett takes a look at market data showing that the U.S. ranks first (at 71.1 percent) among the five wealthiest large economies, followed by France, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Germany (using calculations based on broadband subscriptions, population, and household size).
Deregulation, rather than regulation, has been the impetus behind strengthened competition and innovation, says Hazlett. "French and Japanese networks languished early in the WWW era, while unregulated US cable TV operators pioneered innovations in residential broadband," he says. "DSL growth in America then surged when it, too, was deregulated."
"Cherry picking broadband penetration numbers to imply the US is slipping into Third World status is fine for a quickie term paper, at least if Wikipedia goes down," says Hazlett. "But adults ought to sort through the multi-dimensional complexity of the real world—as The Economist attempts to do with its e-Readiness Index which, in 2008, ranked the US as first in the world."
Read Professor Hazlett's article here.