US Internet access ahead of EU in key areas: study

June 4, 2014
A man uses a computer to browse the Internet in Miami, Florida, on February 1, 2014

A study disputing findings that the US lags in Internet speeds said Wednesday that Americans have better access to broadband than most Europeans.

The University of Pennsylvania study contradicts many previous surveys that suggest US consumers pay more for Internet access, with lower speeds.

The latest study led by Christopher Yoo of the university's Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition found 82 percent of Americans had access to "next-generation" Internet, with speeds above 25 megabits per second, compared with 54 percent in Europe.

In rural areas, the US led by 48 to 12 percent, the study found.

"The empirical evidence confirms that the United States is performing much better than Europe in the high-speed race," said Yoo.

"Worries that the US is falling behind are severely misplaced."

The Penn study also found a much wider deployment of fourth-generation wireless broadband technology known as LTE in the US, available to 86 percent of the population compared with 27 percent in Europe.

The findings included some caveats that explain to some degree the varied findings of previous studies.

Penn researchers found US download speeds during peak times averaged 15 Mbps, below the European average of 19 Mbps. They found US broadband was less expensive for speeds below 12 Mbps and that Americans paid more for higher speeds, while consuming more bandwidth.

Another factor is the difference between advertised and real speeds. The study found actual download speeds in the US were 96 percent of what was advertised, compared to 74 percent in Europe.

Other studies offer a different view. The World Economic Forum ranked the United States 35th in terms of Internet bandwidth available per user. And a private survey by broadband testing firm Ookla ranks the United States 32nd in the world.

A 2013 study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development also ranked the US low in broadband. But Penn researchers said the OECD used a far slower standard for broadband, "a service tier that is generally regarded as obsolete."

Explore further: US ranks 28th in Internet connection speed: report

Related Stories

US ranks 28th in Internet connection speed: report

August 25, 2009

The United States ranks 28th in the world in average Internet connection speed and is not making significant progress in building a faster network, according to a report released on Tuesday.

Broadband services approach advertised speeds

August 2, 2011

(AP) -- New government data find that the nation's major broadband providers deliver Internet connections that are generally 80 percent to 90 percent of maximum advertised speeds.

Cox plans gigabit Internet speeds in three cities

May 22, 2014

Cable company Cox Communications says it plans to boost Internet download speeds to 1 gigabit per second starting in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Omaha, Nebraska, late this year. That is dozens of times faster than typical broadband ...

Four factors for success in ultrafast broadband

June 3, 2014

Internet service providers (ISPs) hoping to emulate the success of New Zealand's ultrafast broadband initiative, which has positioned that country as a global leader in this realm, should heed four lessons from their approach ...

Recommended for you

How to curb emissions? Put a price on carbon

September 3, 2015

Literally putting a price on carbon pollution and other greenhouse gasses is the best approach for nurturing the rapid growth of renewable energy and reducing emissions.

Magnetic fields provide a new way to communicate wirelessly

September 1, 2015

Electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego demonstrated a new wireless communication technique that works by sending magnetic signals through the human body. The new technology could offer a lower power ...

For these 'cyborgs', keys are so yesterday

September 4, 2015

Punching in security codes to deactivate the alarm at his store became a thing of the past for Jowan Oesterlund when he implanted a chip into his hand about 18 months ago.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Bob_60441
not rated yet Jun 04, 2014
I don't know how and how well the USA is deploying internet technology. But Europe seems ahead of the curve when it comes to privacy, and integrating that as practical considerations into the net.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.