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ITU: Household Internet Access Strong; Individual, Not So Much

According to the International Telecommunication Union's
first country-by-country broadband report, household Internet access has seen
strong growth and is on track to meet the ITU's Broadband Commission for
Digital Development target of 40% of households with broadband by 2105.
Individual Internet use is lagging its target of 60% user penetration by 2015,
though it sees mobile as the potential path to getting that progress back on

The report found that as of 2011, the U.S. ranked 18th in
fixed broadband penetration (fixed subscriptions per 100 inhabitants) at 28.7
and eighth in mobile broadband penetration at 65.5.

Topping the list of fixed subscriptions per 100 inhabitants
are the tiny country of Liechtenstein at 71.6% and the even tinier principality
of Monaco at 44.2. On the wireless side, Singapore and Korea averaged more than
one subscription apiece at 110.9 and 105.1.

Iceland leads in the category of percentage of individuals
using the Internet at 95%. The U.S. is 23rd with 77.9%.

The report concludes that to boost broadband, governments
need to increase regulatory certainty and lower barriers to market entry.

The U.S. gets one of the reports "featured
insight" pullouts for PresidentObama's "dig once" executive order. The initiative is aimed at
"facilitat[ing] broadband deployment on Federal lands, buildings, and
rights of way, federally assisted highways, and tribal and individual Indian
trust lands," including coordinating the deployment of underground fiber
conduit on highway projects -- the "dig once" portion of the order.