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Kovacs: U.S. Broadband Stands Strong During COVID-19

U.S. broadband networks have performed particularly well during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly when compared with members of the EU and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 

That is according to a new paper from Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business written by visiting senior scholar, financial analyst and consultant Anna-Maria Kovacs

She suggests there are three reasons, which dovetail with ISP arguments for why they have been keeping ahead of the COVID-19 curve: 1) The high level of investment by U.S. carriers, 2) the prevalence of high speeds, and 3) "a light-touch regulatory environment." 

Related: Time to Begin Full IP Transition 

She said U.S. fixed download speeds have far exceeded those of the EU and OECD--138 Mbps weighted mean speed versus 102 for EU and 89 for OECD. 

Of course, it helps that DSL constitutes 18% of U.S. fixed broadband while that percentage is 44% for OECD and 50% for the EU. 

She suggests it is not a coincidence that the EU has a more heavy-handed regulatory approach while the U.S. "has enjoyed a broadband policy environment dating back to the turn of the century"--so she includes Democratic Administrations--"that has encouraged private sector investment in networks."

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.