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BroadbandNow: China Dominates Fiber Buildout

BroadbandNow, which advocates for universal broadband deployment, said China is lapping the field, with fiber infrastructure growth nine times that of the U.S. in the past half decade. 

Source: BroadbandNow

Source: BroadbandNow

That is according to a new report whose title about says it all: "China’s Fiber Broadband Internet Approaches Nationwide Coverage; United States Lags Severely Behind." 

If winning the information age means access to "robust, future-proofed internet infrastructure," as broadband now asserts, China appears well on its way, says the group. 

It said that while America continues to face an "immense" digital divide, China's government has made been building out state-sponsored fiver super network. 

Critics of the comparison have pointed out that the price of that success is a network mandated--and potentially misused--by a command-and-control government. 

BroadbandNow concedes that China has complete control over infrastructure, but says that has plated a "pivotal" role in its "expedient" rollout. 

"Just seven years ago, 17 percent of citizens in both the U.S. and China had access to fiber broadband internet," said Broadband Now. "Today, 86 percent in China are covered – growing nearly nine times faster than the U.S. – while only one-in-four Americans (25 percent) have fiber internet capabilities," BroadbandNow said. 

BroadbandNow cites what it says are multiple reasons the U.S. is lagging in fiber deployment, including lack of competition, both from private companies and municipal networks; inadequate broadband mapping--a point most including the FCC have conceded; inefficient subsidy programs, and lack of common sense initiatives at the state level, like "dig once." 

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.