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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."