• reed

    every country other than the USA uses government policy to stimulate broadband subscription directly.

  • Anonymous

    Who cares about that, when the world is at stake?

  • http://www.glamdring.org Tom Albrecht

    In all fairness, the U.S. has a more rural population than Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and Singapore. The “last mile” problem is a real problem in those rural areas.

  • http://ryanhealy.com Ryan

    So, the Digital Divide is alive and well. In 2000 it was a key talking point for the presidential candidates. 2004? Zero. Zilch. Nada. Bigger issues this time around, perhaps, but it also tells me that neither candidate understands the profundity of the problem.

  • http://www.downes.ca Stephen Downes

    Canada (which, Tom, does have large rural areas) made internet connectivity a priority. All levels of government have played a key role. This continues with things like civic public wireless programs. Private enterprise will take you a certain part of the way, but to get to the good part of the graph – which means even your less affluent people have access – you have to have government support.

  • HKerry

    Actually it is an issue for both candidates: http://www.ghandchi.com/324-BroadbandEng.htm

  • HKerry


    “This country needs a national goal for broadband technology, for the spread of broadband technology. We ought to have a universal, affordable access for broadband technology by the year 2007, and then we ought to make sure as soon as possible thereafter, consumers have got plenty of choices when it comes to purchasing the broadband carrier. See, the more choices there are, the more the price will go down. And the more the price goes down, the more users there will be. And the more users there will be, the more likely it is America will stay on the competitive edge of world trade.”

    Kerry Campaign:
    “Empower Americans by Making Internet Access Universally Available. As more commerce and service occurs over the Internet, John Kerry believes that we need to make Internet access available to all families. Several generations ago the Rural Electric Administration brought isolated areas out of the darkness. Similarly a visionary Federal government will build a bridge across the digital divide and bring the promise of broadband technology to rural and urban America. Kerry supports providing a tax credit to telecommunications companies that deploy broadband in rural and underserved parts of America.”

  • Max Lybbert

    I found it hillarious when both candidates paid lip service to broadband. It wasn’t like one was going to come out against broadband, “My fellow Americans, my opponent wants everybody to have fast internet access. Why? Elect me, and I’ll make sure there’s a dial-up in every house.”

    I know, I know, the issue is how the US should encourage broadband. And, while I have a sneaky suspicion that Kerry wants to use a government program to fix things, and that Bush would rather have the states or the market figure it out, I don’t believe either has actually said so.

  • http://www.joegrossberg.com Joe Grossberg

    “The amazing non-issue of this campaign.”


    Where are your priorities? We are at war in two countries, under threat of terrorist attack, and in a recession. The national debt is skyrocketing, the price of oil is at a historical high and the social security Ponzi scheme is headed for trouble.

    Yet you’re worried that too many people use dial-up AOL?

    An interesting stat, yes. Amazing that it hasn’t been a major issue in this campaign? Not in the least.

  • Jardinero1

    Who gives a shit? Read a book or something while you wait for your download. Better still, go outside and get some fresh air.

    Has anyone read about the social problems that high rates of high speed connectivity have caused for youth and family life in Korea. It’s kind of perverse. I would rather have my kid out smoking pot with his friends than doing what these kids do.

  • Greg Buchholz

    Crude population density chart for the same countries.
    (data from this site)(persons per sq km)(each asterisk ~= 10 people/sq km)

    • ______Korea (332):********************************
    • ________HK (6700):*******************************<off chart >***************************
    • ______Canada (3.1):
    • ______Iceland (2.8):
    • _____Taiwan (625):**************************************************************
    • ___Denmark (125):*************
    • ___Belgium (140) :**************
    • ______Japan (336):**********************************
    • Netherlands (385):***************************************
    • Switzerland (175):******************
    • _____Sweden (19):**
    • Singapore (6500):*******************************<off chart >***************************
    • _______USA (29.5):***
    • ____Finland (15.3):**
    • ____Norway (13.9):*
  • http://ryanhealy.com Ryan

    Thanks, HKerry, for the quotes. However, as I said, in 2000 Internet connectivity and the Digital Divide were on the tips of all candidates’ tongues and the rhetoric from all political camps made the issue of Internet access appear crucial for the well-being of our economy and way of life.

    The larger, and perhaps tangential issue, is that of jobs. If Americans are still plagued by a Digital Divide when other countries are not, it’s less likely we’ll be able to find enough skilled workers. If our economy is supposed to move toward the tertiary, we’re sure as hell not making it easy. That’s part of the profundity I was referring to.

    I could probably find each candidate’s stance on getting dogs and cats spayed and neutered, but does that mean it’s a priority for them? Does that mean they understand the [relative] importance of the problem?

  • AppleHAter


    It is people like you who prevent the US (the World) from technology growth. Supporting closed minded companies like Apple prevent the world fron innovating the future.

  • oboreruhito

    This covers broadband subscribers; is there data on total broadband access, including access at public institutions such as Universities? Does an apartment building that subscribes to a T1 line and provides broadband to each unit count each unit as a separate subscriber?

  • Alexander Wehr

    The problem is the deregulation of telecommunications, and the fact that the FCC has in almost every case sold us out.

    Other nations are spurring ISP’s to adopt fiber (passive optical networking) infrastructures.

    Here, our isp’s are allowed to get away with such things as charing 3 times as much for the same service from several years ago as the consumption of the copper/cable exceeds capacity.

    Because we dont encourage competition, and because we dont encourage adoption of fiber infrastructure we are falling behind.

    Japan already has massive fiber infrastructure, as do many nations… we have diddly squat if i remember correctly.. we’re still taking baby steps only this year.

  • Alexander Wehr

    I would like to add something plainly obvious…

    The internet went from a tool for economic growth before the recession to the ultimately villified tool of piracy in the following economic hardship.

    may i ask why anyone would invest in internet technology when it and all which interface with it are being villified.