When the Federal Communications Commission announced in April of 2009 that they would be pursuing a National Broadband Plan – picture an interstate highway initiative but for bytes instead of cars – web surfers with a need for speed began warming up their mouse muscles. It seems like we’ve sat on the side of the road while our friends in Europe and Asia have zoomed past us in the race to faster net speeds at cheaper prices.
But how does the US really stack up to the rest of the world?
As part of their Broadband Plan the FCC commissioned Yochai Benkler and a team of researchers at the Berkman Center to put together an international review of broadband use and policy. The result is an exhaustive 333-page report showing the US roughly in the middle of 30 industrial nations – in terms of speed, penetration, and cost.
How did we end up in the middle? And more importantly, how did so many other countries get ahead?
Yochai sat down with David Weinberger to talk about how they found these results, and what the US could do to ambitiously pursue a faster web.