Originally published: October 12, 2010
Last updated: October 12, 2010 - 2:59pm
House Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) and House Communications Subcommittee Chairman Rick Boucher (D-VA) released a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), examining the deployment and adoption of broadband in developed nations.
GAO conducted a case study of broadband initiatives in seven countries identified as being particularly successful in increasing broadband deployment or adoption. It found that all seven countries had achieved higher levels of either broadband deployment or broadband adoption than the United States as of the fourth quarter of 2009.
GAO concluded that all seven countries have taken similar actions to increase deployment and adoption, including five categories of actions. It also found that the recommendations contained in the Federal Communications Commission's National Broadband Plan significantly overlap with the actions taken by those countries.
GAO provides information on the status of broadband deployment and adoption in 30 countries that are members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). GAO found similar broadband deployment rates among the countries, but found differences in broadband adoption rates among the countries due to cost, income, computer ownership, and other demographic factors. According to GAO, broadband has been deployed to 90% or more of the households in 27 of the 30 OECD countries. Additionally, 17 of the 30 OECD countries had broadband adoption rates that were greater than the average.
GAO selected seven OECD countries for a closer examination, and found that all of the countries had taken similar actions to increase deployment and adoption.
1) established plans and policies to guide deployment and provide leadership support;
2) provided government funding through public/private partnerships;
3) promoted competition;
4) implemented strategies to make broadband services more available and useful to consumers; and
5) provided digital literacy training and consumer subsidies. GAO concluded that the FCC's National Broadband Plan recommendations largely align with the actions of the seven countries examined.
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