June 26, 2005

US Lagging in Internet Development

The United States led the world in broadband development until President Bush took office, but now we're lagging: "The Bush administration's policies, or lack thereof, have since allowed Asia - Japan in particular - to not only catch up in the development and expansion of broadband and mobile phone technology, but to roundly pound us into the dirt," according to Thomas Bleha, writing in Foreign Affairs and quoted in the New York Times.

In the first three years of the Bush administration, the United States dropped from 4th to 13th place in global rankings of broadband Internet usage. Today, most U.S. homes can access only "basic" broadband, among the slowest, most expensive, and least reliable in the developed world, and the United States has fallen even further behind in mobile-phone-based Internet access. The lag is arguably the result of the Bush administration's failure to make a priority of developing these networks. In fact, the United States is the only industrialized state without an explicit national policy for promoting broadband.
The Times also quotes Charles Ferguson of The Brookings Institution, who says that "the United States might lose up to $1 trillion because of constraints on broadband deployment."

Posted by jonl at June 26, 2005 10:38 AM