Sunday, August 31, 2008

The "BroadBand Penetration Rates" Trick

I can't stand the presence of certain "agendized activists" who are present in the Internet space advancing their warped theories.

One hot topic for debate is the availability of high speed Internet links for Americans to make use of at home. If you do research on the web you'll see that they are making the case that the United States is woefully behind a good portion of the "developed world" in our "broadband penetration rates". We are 17th. We are bad.

Then the story goes - it is the big American ISPs (phone companies, cable companies) who are raking in money for their investors yet FAILING to reinvest these funds back into their network so that more Americans can gain access to high speed Internet and the jobs and higher standard of living this will afford.

This argument under-girds their claim for MORE GOVERNMENT REGULATION. A "properly guided FCC" (read - get a Democrat into office so that they can take over the FCC) would put the interests of AMERICANS ahead of the interests of the big corporations. This all SOUNDS GOOD until you notice the facts.

One thing that I notice is that these various articles which slam the United States on the penetration rates - rarely discuss the total subscribership numbers for these same nations. Thus in the classical use of STATISTICS (and hiding the stats that don't support your argument) they can paint the picture as such.

The United States has 66 MILLION broadband subscribers. Their darling - the Netherlands has 5 million people. Can anyone argue that a nation that has a land mass of 9,826,630 km and a POPULATION DENSITY of 31/km as compared to a country that has a land mass of 41,526 km and a population density of 395/km is a FAIR COMPARISON?
Just as a reference - China is (9,598,086 km² land mass and 140/km population density). India is 3,287,590‡ km land mass and 390/km in population density.

Those who argue this point have no concept of the capital expendutures necessary to build a network.

Despite the fact that Verizon Wireless has spent $23 billion to build their national Fios network and the same for AT&T and the various cable companies - they would like you to believe that the USA is behind in the technology race. Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth does not matter to them.

The USA has the fastest network backbone trunks in the world (OC-768 or 40Gbps between major cities as well as the most developed, expansive network of any nation). Please don't allow them to tell you otherwise.

Lastly - don't forget about WIRELESS BROADBAND via the cellular networks. Just as wireless has assisted Africa to "light up" it will do the same in the United States.

Statistics Lie

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