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No Laggards Here!

It seems that the US can't beat the world's best on the pitch or in the game of broadband

Jeff Baumgartner

April 25, 2007

2 Min Read
No Laggards Here!

It seems the U.S. can't beat the world's best on the pitch or in the game of broadband. Score one for Denmark, Sweden, and Luxembourg!


Let me explain…

National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) President & CEO Kyle McSlarrow has taken issue with a new report from the OECD that claims the U.S. had dropped to 15th place in broadband penetration.

Apparently miffed by a "misleading" suggestion that the U.S. is behind in any way, shape or form when it comes to broadband, McSlarrow, on behalf of the U.S. cable industry, fired off a letter (pdf) to the Senate Commerce and House Energy and Commerce Committees on Monday (4/23) to set the record straight.

In making the point, he notes that the U.S., with 58.1 million high-speed subs, outpaces all other countries. Even data from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) , cable's favorite agency these days, found that the industry has made cable modem service available to 93 percent of U.S. homes passed by cable. Oh, and the bottom line: U.S. cable has poured in more than $110 billion over the last decade on broadband and other "advanced services." He also addressed the speed debate, which usually goes something like this: Japan and Korea = fast; U.S. = stuck in molasses. McSlarrow writes that "most" MSOs offer speeds above 5-Mbit/s service (OK, in the downstream), adding that 100-Mbit/s services are on the horizon thanks to Docsis 3.0, which "operators will soon deploy." Well, soon, if the second half of 2008 is soon enough for you. (See Go for the Bronze! .)Also, for the record, here are the countries OECD had ranked ahead of the U.S. based on the number of broadband subs per 100 inhabitants (as of December 2006):

1. Denmark (31.9)
2. Netherlands (31.8)
3. Iceland (29.7)
4. Korea (29.1)
5. Switzerland (28.5)
6. Norway (27.7)
7. Finland (27.2)
8. Sweden (26.0)
9. Canada (23.8)
10. Belgium (22.5)
11. United Kingdom (21.6)
12. Luxembourg (20.4)
13. France (20.3)
14. Japan (20.2)
15. United States (19.6)

Last (30th) on the list is Mexico (3.5).But Mexico shouldn't feel so bad. It ranks much higher (#18) on the list that most global inhabitants really care about -- the FIFA/Coca Cola Men's & Youth World Rankings! And Denmark? FIFA's got you at No. 22. How's that slide tackle (spikes up) feel? What's that? The U.S. is No. 29, you say? Sigh. — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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