Room for improvement
If America’s facilities-based system were really working, the country would at the very least enjoy first-rate broadband in dense urban areas where providers are most likely to recoup their investments quickly. Yet in February the Saïd Business School at Oxford and the Universidad de Oviedo released a study, funded by Cisco, that produced a broadband quality score based on bit volume and speed, mapped against current and probable future applications. Chicago, America’s best-performing city, ranked 26th, below Sofia and Bucharest. No American city was judged “ready for tomorrow”. Among countries America ranked 16th, which is roughly where it falls on almost any available measure of broadband penetration or quality. That is not good enough.