Best Practices in Broadband: Lessons from Canada, Japan, Korea and the United States

24 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2004

See all articles by Rob Frieden

Rob Frieden

Pennsylvania State University - Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications; Pennsylvania State Law

Date Written: July 2004


Critics across the political and social spectrum have criticized the state of United States broadband network development and refer to the great success achieved by nations such as Canada, Japan and Korea. The International Telecommunication Union reports that in 2002 the five top nations for broadband network market penetration were: Korea, Hong Kong, Canada, Taiwan and Denmark. The ITU ranks the United States eleventh in broadband penetration. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reports that in middle 2003 the top market penetration for member nations occurred in: Korea, Canada, Iceland, Denmark and Belgium with the United States ranked tenth.

Aside from the obvious geographical and demographic advantages accruing to small nations with large urban populations, broadband development has become a national priority for many nations. Both developed and developing nations have stimulated capital expenditures for infrastructure in ways United States public and private sector stakeholders have yet to embrace. Such investments have accrued ample dividends including the lowest broadband access costs in the world. For example, the ITU reports that in 2002 Japanese consumers paid $0.09 per 100 kilobits per second of broadband access compared to $3.53 in the United States.

Economic policies do not completely explain why some nations offer faster, better cheaper and more convenient broadband services while other nations do not. This paper will examine the success stories in broadband network development with an eye toward determining the optimal mix of legislative, regulatory and investment initiatives. The paper will track development in Canada, Japan and Korea as these nations have achieved success despite significantly different geographical, political and marketplace conditions.

Keywords: ICT, broadband, development, Internet

JEL Classification: 032, 038, 050

Suggested Citation

Frieden, Rob and Frieden, Rob, Best Practices in Broadband: Lessons from Canada, Japan, Korea and the United States (July 2004). Available at SSRN: or

Rob Frieden (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State Law

Lewis Katz Building
University Park, PA 16802
United States

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Pennsylvania State University - Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications ( email )

University Park, PA 16802
United States
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