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Is the U.S. a broadband leader or laggard?

Back when President Obama was still the President-elect, he made a bold statement about his disappointment with the adoption of broadband in the United States. His quote, to be exact, was: “It is unacceptable that the United States ranks 15th in the world in broadband adoption”But now, the New York Times tells us that the United States is actually No.

Back when President Obama was still the President-elect, he made a bold statement about his disappointment with the adoption of broadband in the United States. His quote, to be exact, was: “It is unacceptable that the United States ranks 15th in the world in broadband adoption”

But now, the New York Times tells us that the United States is actually No. 1 in broadband - at least according to a "connectivity scorecard" (PDF) established by Leonard Waverman, the dean of the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary, who was speaking at a Columbia/Georgetown seminar on the broadband stimulus over the weekend.

The reason: businesses in the the U.S. have made use of computers and the Internet and has a "technically skilled workforce. The NYT quotes Waverman:

Korea has great broadband to the house, but businesses in Korea don’t use the best networks and don’t have the skills and computing assets they need to take advantage of them.

The NYT report goes on to quote a Pew Internet and American Life project survey that laid out various statistics related to broadband adoption and access in the U.S., concluding that Americans might not be as disconnected as the rest of the world thinks they are. In addition, it seems that those who are disconnected likely choose to be that way. For them, computers and the Internet really aren't all that important.