Case Study on Global BroadBand Access

All historical accounts agree that the Internet was birthed in the United States. If this is true, does the U.S. continue to be the world foremost user of the network that it created?

The answer to this question depends on how you look at the numbers. According to the OECD (Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development), the U.S. continues to be one of the world frontrunners in both fixed and mobile broadband subscriptions for Internet access [OECD11]. However, when viewed on a per capita or population percentage basis, there is considerable evidence that the average citizen in many of other highly developed nations around the world is more likely than the average American to have broadband access to the Internet. Although more than two-thirds of U.S. households have broadband Internet access, America’s broadband penetration rate lags that for many other countries [SALW12].

  • Do some Internet research on national infrastructure initiatives that have contributed to expanded broadband infrastructure and access in countries around the world. Identify several countries that have benefitted from national broadband infrastructure initiatives and briefly summarize the programs that they implemented.
  • Do some Internet research to on the current status of the National Broadband Plan and other government-backed broadband access expansion programs in the U.S. Briefly summarize the content of pending or recently passed legislation or executive initiatives to bring broadband Internet access to more U.S. citizens.
  • Do some Internet research on the “digital divide” within the U.S. Summarize which segments of the population are most at risk for being digital “have nots”. Identify efforts being made to address the digital divide within the U.S.
  • Do some research related to identify the countries that have the lowest broadband and Internet access rates. What patterns can be observed across these countries? How can these low rates be explained.
  • Do some Internet research on the benefits associated with high broadband access connections? What do users like most about higher connection speeds and how does it improve their lives?

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