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Surprise: America Is No. 1 in Broadband

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Although some countries have far more broadband-connected homes and higher broadband speeds than the United States, the U.S. leads the world in putting broadband to productive use, according to the "Connectivity Scorecard" developed by Leonard Waverman, dean of the University of Calgary's Haskayne School of Business.

The scorecard rated 25 developed countries in terms of the extent that consumers, businesses, and government put communication technology to economically productive use, and the United States received the highest rating for broadband. The chief reason was that the U.S. has made extensive use of the Internet and computers and boasts a technically proficient workforce. Waverman's scorecard also found that government use of communications technology in the United States is on a par with its use anywhere in the world. Use of wired and wireless broadband networks by U.S. consumers lagged behind other countries, but the U.S. led for technology use and skills by consumers.

A separate paper based on a poll by the Pew Internet and American Life project determined that 57 percent of U.S. residents currently have access to broadband, versus just 9 percent who have dial-up Internet access. Reasons uncovered by Pew as to why people do not use broadband include online's irrelevance to their lives, a lack of affordability, and usability issues. Unavailability of broadband was cited as a reason by only 14 percent of the people who do not currently have broadband.

From The New York Times
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