US Internet access ahead of EU in key areas: study

Jun 04, 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: Four factors for success in ultrafast broadband

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Four factors for success in ultrafast broadband

Jun 03, 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 ...

Broadband services approach advertised speeds

Aug 02, 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 ...

US ranks 28th in Internet connection speed: report

Aug 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.

US to pump $1.2 bln to expand broadband access

Aug 04, 2010

The US administration unveiled plans Wednesday to spend 1.2 billion dollars to expand broadband or high-speed Internet access to dozens of under-served rural communities.

Recommended for you

New algorithm resolves Wi-Fi interference problems

Jan 23, 2015

To overcome the problem of interference between wireless networks, a doctoral student at EPFL has developed an algorithm that automatically selects the best frequency band according to the usage of neighboring ...

Many antennas, multiple benefits

Jan 21, 2015

A concept that balances large-scale installations of low-cost and low-power antennas to boost cellular coverage in difficult environments will also provide better connectivity to more users. Developed by ...

Mathematical analysis maximizes mobile network access

Jan 21, 2015

Data-intense multimedia applications are stretching cellular network capacities to their limits, but A*STAR researchers have developed a strategy to ease this burden using 'data offloading'. By using high-level ...

User comments : 1

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.