The use of broadband in the US has risen dramatically over the past decade, growing nearly 7-fold from 2001 to 2009 (see Figure 1). However, there are disparities among different socio-economic groups. The US Department of Commerce recently released a report analyzing these “broadband adoption gaps” to highlight where the private sector and the US government can focus their efforts to bring broadband access to all Americans (NTIA 2010).
Michael Copps of the FCC said that the US needs a “broadband czar” to coordinate how government agencies promote broadband. At a recent meeting in North Carolina to promote the state’s spread of broadband, speakers emphasized the need for a coordinated effort in the US in order to compete worldwide. Meanwhile in the US, broadband penetration approached 90% in May, only a rounding error away. Overall, US broadband penetration in less than 60% among US households, and is ranked 17th worldwide.