Since 2001, the US has fallen from 4th place to 12th place this year as rated against 30 industrialized member states of the OECD organization. For a country with such a high per capita of computer users, it would seem to be counter intuitive that the US would lag in broadband usage comparatively speaking.
However, the country still faces many obstacles that are not limited by the cost of physically wiring a very large land mass. Even though 3G and promises of free wifi offer the potential of rapidly catching up, to many infights between industries and local governments seem to be slowing things down. Couple this with a cost of service to the end user that ranges from $40-$90 per month, and it is no wonder that the US lags.
The US Government shows no signs of providing funds to subsidize a project that would bring access to more people and communities, and so the market must drive the implementation, even while participants battle each other in court and with lobbyists to gain political and legal advantages. Meanwhile, the rest of the industrialized world moves on and moves on rapidly.
For those of us that have broadband access its difficult to conceive of living without it. So we have to consider what the ramifications will be for a country the size of the US, to lag behind in access to knowledge. For a country that beleives in the axiom that knowledge is power, its surprising that the US is not taking action to compete in accessing knowledge at speed and quantity available to its peers.
OECD: U.S. Lags in Broadband Rollout – Yahoo! News