Thursday, October 14, 2010

GAO says broadband costs, not availability, is hindering adoption

[This is consistent with an article way back in August 1993 Scientific American that showed once a technology is broadly as perceived as useful, it is cost above all that is the major factor in adoption rates. The article compared adoption rates of various technologies compared to the average annual income over time. No surprise that the telephone, because it was a monopoly, has traditionally been the most expensive technology in terms of average annual income – as a consequence it took over 75 years for the telephone to reach 50% adoption. Competition drives down prices and accelerates adoption. Canada is a textbook case of how NOT do drive broadband adoption – because of restrictions on foreign ownership Canada has very little competition and as result we pay some of the highest prices for broadband (wireless and wired) in the world and we have one of the lowest adoption rates. On the other hand our broadband providers are generally the most profitable in the OECD. Rather than expand overseas, or invest in new innovative services, our broadband providers are more focused on concentrating their stranglehold on the Canadian economy through concentration of ownership of media and broadcast companies. Thanks to Dewayne Hendricks for this pointer. – BSA]

GAO says broadband costs, not availability, is hindering adoption The Hill By Gautham Nagesh

The main barrier to increasing the adoption of broadband Internet in the U.S. is cost, not the availability of access, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

The GAO noted that broadband has been deployed to 95 percent of households in the U.S., putting it on pace with other developed countries despite America's larger population. While ranked in the middle of the pack in broadband adoption, the U.S. also leads Australia and Canada, the only two developed nations with comparable populations.

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