US Getting Beat By Tasmania In Race To Big Broadband Future

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With each passing day America's national broadband plan looks more and more pathetic.

Yesterday I was reminded of Tasmania's broadband ambitions. They've set the goal of reaching 200,000 homes and businesses with 100Mbps within the next four years, which is estimated to cost $700 million in total.

The FCC set the goal for the US of reaching 100 million homes with 100Mbps by the year 2020.

Comparing the two, Tasmania's goal of 200,000 homes is roughly/relatively similar as the US's of 100 million relative to each area's respective population (500,000 vs. 300,000,000).

And yet Tasmania's goal will see its people achieving their 100Mbps future six years sooner than we will in America.

As another comparison, if the US were to step up like Tasmania is financially, then relative to GDP we should be finding some way to invest more than $400 billion in building our country's 100Mbps broadband infrastructure.

Instead, while Tasmania is actively executing on a plan to achieve this goal, our national broadband plan was silent on a specific strategy for realizing this 100Mbps future.

And Tasmania's example can't be swept under the rug by the excuse that their demographics or geography are more conducive to deployment than the US. Tasmania's density is 19 people per square mile, whereas the US's is 83 people per square mile. Plus it's not as if Tasmania's known as a global tech leader like South Korea or Japan.

So what this all means is that the US isn't just getting beat by the usual suspects, we're getting lapped by small island states like Tasmania.

How is this acceptable? How can the FCC say with a straight face that their national broadband plan sets our country on a path to being globally competitive when it aspires to achieve goals that will be six years behind Tasmania? What does it say about our country that despite having invented the Internet we don't have the gumption to come up with a plan that can keep pace with Tasmania?

When will we wake up as a country to the fact that the trajectory we're on threatens that when it comes to the digital economy we're going to be laggards rather than leaders?

For my money, that realization can't come soon enough, especially when we can't even keep up with Tasmania.

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Thanks for your insights. FYI, Tasmania is not a nation, it's one of Australia's six states. Nevertheless, it appears that they've taken broadband advancement into their own hands, as have some US states, without waiting for mother nation to take care of their needs. Good for them!

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This page contains a single entry by Geoff Daily published on May 19, 2010 12:41 PM.

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