In just over a year the US has dropped two places in worldwide broadband rankings. As measured by household usage, broadband penetration in the US dropped from 25th to 27th place worldwide. The US remained at 22nd place in broadband use by population. Qatar jumped two spots to lead Liechtenstein and Luxembourg in household penetration of broadband, while Iceland jumped 2 spots to 3rd place behind Liechtenstein and Luxembourg in broadband penetration by population.
President-elect Obama is calling for a massive $850 billion or more economic stimulus package to jump start the US economy and rebuild neglected infrastructure. As part of this plan the Obama administration has pledged to deploy next-generation broadband to every community in America. What the new administration has not offered is more specifics on their plan to achieve broadband for all. The Free Press has put forth a $44 billion plan to achieve universal broadband availability for the United States.
China will pass the US in total broadband lines by the third quarter of 2006 to have the largest subscriber base in the world (see Figure 1). The US and China are followed by Japan, South Korea, Germany, and France in total broadband lines per country.
Despite leading the world in broadband subscribers, the US dropped from 17th to 20th place in broadband penetration over the past year (see Figures 1 & 2). Due to its slower growth rate the US fell behind Sweden, the UK, and even tiny Luxembourg in broadband uptake from March 2005 to March 2006, according to Point Topic. Meanwhile, US broadband penetration among active Internet users grew 1.34 percentage points to 73.1% in June 2006.
At its current growth rate of over 90% per year, China will pass the US in total broadband subscribers by late 2006 to become the largest broadband country in the world. The US has fallen to 19th overall in household broadband penetration, and is in danger of being passed by Slovenia in early 2007. Israel leads all Middle Eastern and African countries, and is the third country overall in broadband penetration. Hong Kong leads the Pacific Rim, with a broadband penetration rate of over 73%. Meanwhile, in December 2005 the US passed 65% in broadband penetration among active Internet users.