International Broadband Comparisons: 2009 Update

International Broadband Comparisons: 2009 Update

July 9, 2009 – This new report compares broadband penetration, speeds, prices, and use across countries. Scott Wallsten, TPI Vice President for Research and Senior Fellow, finds in this update of his 2008 report on international broadband comparisons that:

  • Household broadband adoption continues to increase quickly in all OECD countries. U.S. household broadband penetration increased from 47 percent in March 2007 to 63 percent in April 2009, meaning the U.S. ranks somewhere between 8th and 10th in household broadband penetration among OECD countries. If current trends continue, the U.S. and nearly all wealthy OECD countries will reach a saturation point within the next few years.
  • Speeds continue to increase around the world. Four OECD countries-Korea, Japan, Sweden, and the Netherlands at 18, 15, 12, and 9.4 mbps-had average download speeds well above others in the first quarter of 2009. Another 12 countries had average download speeds between 6 and 8 mbps, including the U.S. with an average of 6.4 mbps.
  • Consumers in the U.S. download far more movies and music per capita via the Internet than do consumers in the U.K, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, or Japan (the only countries considered in a recent Ofcom study).
  • The U.S. appears to have among the least expensive low-end broadband plans among OECD countries, but among the more expensive high-end plans.
  • The U.S. remains at or near the top of many other ICT indicators including the latest estimates of IT investment.

The Technology Policy Institute
The Technology Policy Institute is a think tank that focuses on the economics of innovation, technological change, and related regulation in the United States and around the world. TPI produces independent, rigorous research and sponsors educational programs and conferences on major issues affecting information technology and communications policy. TPI is a 501(c)(3) research and educational organization. More information is available at https://techpolicyinstitute.org/

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