August 25, 2008 · Lessig
As I said about my McCain on Technology video, the opening graph is not well defined. Others said the same thing. Neither are the data provided. If I had all the time in the world, I would correct both in the video. I don’t. So here’s a clarification:
I am using a hybrid of the ITU data (2000-2007) and OECD data (1997-1999) in my analysis, but only the latter in the chart. You can see a spreadsheet with both here. The numbers (#5, #22) refer to the U.S. ranking for broadband penetration over that period. OECD doesn’t have exactly the same analysis, but because there are relatively few countries with broadband penetration of any significance, it is easy to calculate that broadband penetration for the US goes from #2 to #22 from 1997 through 2007.
The Communication Workers of America have a new site and study to bolster the embarrassing state of US broadband quality. You can download their 50 state survey here. Far as I can tell, the simplest explanation for broadband speed is this: How close are you to DC regulators. The closer you are, the better your broadband. Not a perfect predictor, but pretty good.