UK Promises Broadband Build Out, US Lags Behind International Neighbors

A recently established broadband goal will give 90 percent of UK homes 25 Mbps broadband connections by 2015. In just four years, the UK hopes to 'turbo-charge' its broadband capacities and surge ahead of international competitors. Yet as foreign countries move ahead with broadband goals, the US still lags behind in broadband penetration and speeds.

The new British benchmark, announced by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt at Race Online 2012, is made possible by a public-private partnership that combines a 530m pound government investment with impressive investment goals set by broadband providers like BT.

If the US is to keep from falling behind, we will need to meet, if not exceed, the benchmarks set by the National Broadband Plan. According to one of the NBP's goals, 100 million U.S. homes should have affordable access to actual download speeds of 50 Mbps and actual upload speeds of 20 Mbps by 2015. Ultimately, the plan sets a goal of 100 million homes with 100 Mbps downloads by 2020.

Matching European proliferation goals, which propose 100 percent availability of 30Mbps broadband across the EU by 2020, will mean a large push by the US to cover millions of individuals left on the wrong side of the digital divide.

To improve our double-digit international ranking, the US will need to pursue rapid expansion of broadband programs and create a viable plan for reaching disconnected populations.

How does your Internet connection compare with UK's aggressive goals, the benchmarks set in the NBP, and the national average? Take our speed test and find out.

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