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U.S. Still Fifteenth In Broadband Penetration
Though per-capita subscriber growth remains strong
by Karl Bode 03:54PM Friday May 22 2009
Last year, the U.S. ranked fifteenth in penetration, thirteenth in average price per connection, and nineteenth in average advertised download speed, according to data from the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD). The OECD just updated their broadband data portal, and as of December 2008, The United States jumped from fifteenth in penetration....to fifteenth in penetration (connections per 100 citizens). Though the news isn't all bad.

As of September 2008, the U.S. was seventeenth when it comes to the average monthly cost of a broadband subscription. Despite DOCSIS 3.0 and Verizon FiOS, the OECD data still places us nineteenth in terms of average advertised download speed, which of course doesn't reflect actual speeds delivered.

On the plus side, the United States is seventh in terms of per-capita subscriber growth, and the largest broadband nation tracked by the OECD with 80 million subscribers -- 30% of all OECD-tracked connections. In a separate report, the OECD also proclaims that because of broadband stimulus funds, the US will emerge from the recession at a quicker pace.

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A smattering of additional interesting data points:

•The average advertised speed is 9.6 Mbps for DSL, 14.9 Mbps for cable and 65.3 Mbps for fiber.

•Globally, advertised DSL speeds have grown an average of 22% per year since 2005.

•Globally, advertised cable speeds have grown an average of 30% per year since 2005.

The percentage of offers with explicit data limits/bit caps is declining, with only 36% of observed plans now having an explicit data cap.

•In countries with bit caps, users pay an average of USD 0.02 per additional megabyte on DSL and USD 0.03 on cable networks.

•DSL subscribers pay an average of $40 per month for broadband service. The lowest average price for DSL service was in Japan at $26 per month.

•Cable subscribers pay an average of $45 per month for broadband service. France has the least-expensive average price at $22 per month.

•The average price of one megabit per second of broadband capacity for consumers is $12.

Carriers (and the lobbyists, investors and employees paid to love them) often criticize OECD rankings because the data highlights competitive shortcomings. Still, it's some of the best data available, which isn't saying much. Some of the numbers are still in part based on FCC data, which has a long history of being, well, very wrong. It's so wrong, the GAO and FCC Commissioners themselves have admitted as much.

Were Uncle Sam to actually go into the field and check availability (a novel concept), the actual penetration numbers could be better, but they very easily could be substantially worse. For years, carriers have fought data disclosure efforts tooth and nail because highlighting penetration and competitive shortcomings would result in efforts to increase competition, and competition means lower revenues.

After more than a decade of fudged numbers, Uncle Sam just set aside $300 million to map broadband penetration for this country for the first time. However, consumer advocates are already worrying that the mapping process may be hijacked by organizations that don't have consumer best interests at heart. The result may be a $300 million bill for data that still leaves us collectively clueless in terms of broadband penetration.

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FFH
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OECD still using a flawed counting method

»www.oecd.org/document/29/0,3343,···,00.html
4a. Broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants in OECD countries
- Source: Data compiled from original and/or official Sources by Secretariat
- Current status: 2003 Provisional Data available from the Communications Outlook.
- Definition: The number of Internet subscribers is the number of active registered Internet accounts including all fixed network Broadband access technologies: Digital Subscriber Line services, Cable Modem services, Satellite broadband Internet, Fibre-to-the-home Internet access, Ethernet LANs, Fixed wireless subscribers. This excludes 3G subscribers
The "Subscribers per 100 inhabitants" metric has a statistical flaw. It does NOT take into account the size of the average household in each of the countries. Some of the countries at the top are there because they have smaller average number of people at a subscriber address. And some at the bottom have fewer subscribers, but because of larger average household size have more people with broadband access.

A better measure would be number of people with broadband access and not subscribers with broadband access(which measures broadband lines and not people).


In other words, countries with large household sizes are undercounted and countries with small household sizes are overcounted.
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baineschile
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Re: OECD still using a flawed counting method

I would say that plain geography counts too. Most countries in europe and SE Asia, where penetration is the highest, are a fraction of the geographical size of the USA.

If I ran a country the size of New Jersey, obviously its much easier to wire that square mileage with fiber, as opposed to the whole USA.
me1212

join:2008-11-20
Pleasant Hill, MO

Re: OECD still using a flawed counting method

said by baineschile:

I would say that plain geography counts too. Most countries in europe and SE Asia, where penetration is the highest, are a fraction of the geographical size of the USA.

If I ran a country the size of New Jersey, obviously its much easier to wire that square mileage with fiber, as opposed to the whole USA.
True, it is easier to wire a small country as opposed to a big one.

XBL2009
------

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Re: OECD still using a flawed counting method

said by me1212:

said by baineschile:

I would say that plain geography counts too. Most countries in europe and SE Asia, where penetration is the highest, are a fraction of the geographical size of the USA.

If I ran a country the size of New Jersey, obviously its much easier to wire that square mileage with fiber, as opposed to the whole USA.
True, it is easier to wire a small country as opposed to a big one.
Excuse, Excuse, Excuse, always some excuse as to why they can't offer decent next gen internet service in America.

NY, Chicago and LA should have world class networks that compete with the rest of the world since they are dense.
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FFH
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said by baineschile:

I would say that plain geography counts too. Most countries in europe and SE Asia, where penetration is the highest, are a fraction of the geographical size of the USA.

If I ran a country the size of New Jersey, obviously its much easier to wire that square mileage with fiber, as opposed to the whole USA.
They have a few charts that show the correlation of density and broadband penetration.
»www.oecd.org/dataoecd/21/60/39574903.xls
»www.oecd.org/dataoecd/21/62/39574923.xls
»www.oecd.org/dataoecd/22/0/39574933.xls

The 3rd chart probably gives the fairest correlation of density vs penetration.

Those below the line are doing worse than average with Mexico being especially bad.

And those above the line are doing better than average with the Netherlands doing especially well.

Iceland for example is very high in the rankings. But they should be as the country with the densest population. More than 50% of the population live on 1.4% of the land.
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en102
Canadian, eh?

join:2001-01-26
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Re: OECD still using a flawed counting method

That's statistics for you... you can always put some form of spin on it to make it look good or bad.

Countries like US/Australia/Canada are large in landmass, relatively low in population density, with the exception of urban centers. The US is a little more even spread than most, with the exception of the western states.

88615298
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West Tenness
said by baineschile:

I would say that plain geography counts too. Most countries in europe and SE Asia, where penetration is the highest, are a fraction of the geographical size of the USA.

If I ran a country the size of New Jersey, obviously its much easier to wire that square mileage with fiber, as opposed to the whole USA.
What does that have to do with anything? That would only matter is ONE company was in charge of building out the entire US and had plans on running lines over hundreds of miles of nothing. None of which is the case.

Japan is the size of Montana yet is more wired than Montana. So going by your logic why isn't Montana more wired? If Japan can do it Montana can do it, they are the same size.

Oh wait I know you'll say Montana has very few people per square mile. Ok well then how come Rhode Island which is not only many times smaller than Japan and has TWICE the population per square mile much less wired than Japan?

60% of the population of the US lives in the top 75 metro areas. No reason why a metro area shouldn't be up date when it comes to being connected to the internet. Even the largest metro areas are smaller than most of the smaller European countries and population density isn't an issue either.

I'm so tired of people making excuses. These people are the same people that continually make excuses as to why their child is a C+ student instead of doing something about it.

battleop

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Re: OECD still using a flawed counting method

How many people live in Montana and how many live in Japan? Then think about the ROI on wiring Montana vs. Japan.

S_engineer
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said by 88615298:

said by baineschile:

I would say that plain geography counts too. Most countries in europe and SE Asia, where penetration is the highest, are a fraction of the geographical size of the USA.

If I ran a country the size of New Jersey, obviously its much easier to wire that square mileage with fiber, as opposed to the whole USA.
I'm so tired of people making excuses. These people are the same people that continually make excuses as to why their child is a C+ student instead of doing something about it.
Who cares what your sick of???
This is not a forum about you.....
And why you send everyone else a sick IM talking about your sick preferences...
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damox
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Excellent point, and I've been saying that since they started measuring these things!
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tubbynet
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Re: OECD still using a flawed counting method

said by FFH:

The "Subscribers per 100 inhabitants" metric has a statistical flaw. It does NOT take into account the size of the average household in each of the countries. Some of the countries at the top are there because they have smaller average number of people at a subscriber address. And some at the bottom have fewer subscribers, but because of larger average household size have more people with broadband access.
glancing over the top 20 or so countries, i would say that the majority of them (excluding canada, us, korea, japan, australia, new zealand) are all european contries, most of them considered "developed" to boot.
a quick google search leads me to the following stats

»www.nationmaster.com/graph/peo_a···useholds

the data itself is a little old (2001), but i wouldn't imagine household size to change too much. in this comparison, it looks like the average of households average right in the 2.7 people niche. i *really* don't think that the statistical evidence is *that* far off. sure, there are larger households and there are smaller households. you're not going to get a *perfect* count, thats why we use stats.

of course, as someone who benefits from the us maintaining its status quo, i would expect you to dispute factual evidence as flawed as long as the major players keep their stock prices up.



q.
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FFH
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Re: OECD still using a flawed counting method

said by tubbynet:

of course, as someone who benefits from the us maintaining its status quo, i would expect you to dispute factual evidence as flawed as long as the major players keep their stock prices up.

Every time the accusation of industry shill is trotted out, this will be the reply:

"This mode of reasoning is a logical fallacy known as ad hominem: attacking the person presenting the argument, instead of pointing out a flaw in their actual argument. It's a fallacy because even if the criticism of the person is true, his argument may still be valid. You can only tell if the argument is valid by examining the actual argument to see if it is actually valid.

Attacking the person instead of the argument they present is intellectually lazy. It's a substitute for thinking. It's also 100% flawed reasoning: you don't arrive at the conclusion from the argument presented."
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tubbynet
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Re: OECD still using a flawed counting method

said by FFH:

It's a fallacy because even if the criticism of the person is true, his argument may still be valid.
but your "logical" reasoning is based solely on nothing but gut reaction. nowhere in the top 20 countries is there an argument for 10 children huddled around a flickering crt screen looking at youtube on a high speed connection. even post-cold war europe is advancing and while the economic downturn has hurt them severely, countries like lithuania, poland, and the czech republic are no longer the war-torn third world countries of the reagan-era that so many people in this country want us to go back to. unlike your normal posts, you did not provide any evidence to back up *why* you see the stats as flawed, you simply put it out there. my post, with evidence, refutes what i assume to be your "gut feeling". as such, i feel that you are simply promoting the status quo.

again, i present the material above. the household size is not that far off between countries. would it shift maybe a country up or down? possibly, but nothing major. the point is still made.
if you want to argue that the difference is due to the vast differences in land mass, go right ahead. the fact of the matter is you have people who are willing to pay for rural broadband (take a quick look at the costs for satellite or rural wisp internet), but the major carriers refuse to provide service and fight tooth and nail to make sure no one else can. you have a nation that is fascinated with "the free market" but fails to understand that even if you have a few carriers in any given market, you still have a nationwide oligopoly of providers that can dictates the nations broadband policy. its like opec, but because its the us, suddenly it is capitalism.

my above statement still stands, regardless of what type of attack you feel it is against you.

of course, the key phrase in your above post is

his argument may still be valid
what if it isn't?

q.
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Technically, it's not an ad hominem attack to clarify that your positions are distorted by your financial investment into many of these companies. He also clearly countered your argument and offered data of his own. Which you ignored in order to pretend that you were offended. You're losing your edge, TK Junkmail (or whatever name you're using this week). As our resident and professional front page troll, we hold you to a higher standard of trolling...

FFH
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Re: OECD still using a flawed counting method

said by Karl Bode:

"As our resident and professional front page troll, we hold you to a higher standard of trolling...
Attacking the person instead of the argument they present is intellectually lazy. It's a substitute for thinking. It's also 100% flawed reasoning: you don't arrive at the conclusion from the argument presented.
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tubbynet
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Re: OECD still using a flawed counting method

said by FFH:

Attacking the person instead of the argument they present is intellectually lazy.
that would have been true if i *only* called you a shill.
however, i refuted your argument *then* called you a shill. big difference in the order of operations....

we call all liken this to "holding you by the nose and kicking you in the pants".

q.
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Re: OECD still using a flawed counting method

said by tubbynet:

said by FFH:

Attacking the person instead of the argument they present is intellectually lazy.
that would have been true if i *only* called you a shill.
however, i refuted your argument *then* called you a shill. big difference in the order of operations....
It is still blatant flaming no matter what YOU call it.
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Karl Bode
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quote:
Attacking the person instead of the argument they present is intellectually lazy. It's a substitute for thinking. It's also 100% flawed reasoning: you don't arrive at the conclusion from the argument presented.
Yeah, you cut and pasted that quote once already, but again, his post wasn't ad hominem, as the criticism of you being financially conflicted is legitimate. I've always kind of thought complaints of "ad hominem attacks" were a little intellectually lazy, myself.

Re: OECD still using a flawed counting method

Why does Karl hold a monopoly on front page news?

or

Why is the front page only "penetrated" by Karl?

I'd really like some front page competition instead of just what Karl thinks of the news he posts.

Geez, it's worse than my broadband options...

FFH
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Re: OECD still using a flawed counting method

said by DSLR Reader :

I'd really like some front page competition instead of just what Karl thinks of the news he posts.

I do my best - a devil's advocate. But that often draws personal attacks from those who believe Karl walks on water.
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TScheisskopf
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Because he owns the joint.

Do try to keep up.

FFH
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Re: OECD still using a flawed counting method

said by DSLR Reader :

Why does Karl hold a monopoly on front page news?
said by TScheisskopf:

Simple Answers to Simple Questions:

Because he owns the joint.

No, he doesn't. Justin (»/useremail/u/1) owns the joint. Karl works there.

»/about
DSLreports.com is owned and operated by Justin Beech, often out of various wifi cafes around Brooklyn, New York.
»www.dotjournal.com/interview-jus···-reports
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TScheisskopf
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Re: OECD still using a flawed counting method

Well, I sense that fact gets under your skin. Planning a hostile takeover?
cornelius785

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I like the idea of counting how many people have broadband access that is their own/personal. I added in that last tid bit since I wouldn't count work, general public use, or borrowing from a friend.

I think part of the ranking problem is that no one knows of a 'better' way to rank. This is just a statistics problem, like any statistics problem, data processing (as in drawing conclusions) manipulation can occur. I'd like to see broadband speed and availability against population densities for each country. I wouldn't be surprised if it draws a slightly differeny picture
Core0000
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Humor, you can find it everywhere...

"The United States jumped from fifteenth in penetration....to fifteenth in penetration (connections per 100 citizens). Though the news isn't all bad."

I got a good chuckle from this.

And as far as the mapping data goes.. well, I honestly hope this is definitely money being well spent, but from my knowledge of past federal government projects.. they might as well of just lit it all on fire.
decifal

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Bon Aqua, TN
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omg

Omg, if everyone wants broadband, they should all move to the city!!! So sayeth the standard jerk who thinks people not living in new york city dense populations doesn't deserve technology..

This country could do better... If we just shut down satellite internet as an excuse to not provide better more realistic affordable service, the numbers would truely show how odd our deployment in this country is..

Any company that has taken government money for their networks, should/must provide service to all citizens... Not just the ones living in the gravy pot.. Hmm, I remember the major telocos back in the 90's inheriting some serious cash at one point alone...