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Source: US Internet Industry Association news release

Broadband Internet has not only gained adoption faster in the United States than any other technology, but also reached robust levels of availability in most states, according to a report issued today from the US Internet Industry Association.

The study, "Deployment of Broadband to Rural America; An Evaluation of Current Broadband Services to Rural Americans and The Impact of Internet Public Policy On Broadband Deployment," was written by David P. McClure, president and chief executive officer of USIIA.

"The accepted political dogma that America has in some way failed in its efforts to deploy broadband is based on a series of miscalculations," McClure said. There are three issues that contribute to these miscalculations:

- Too often the level of Internet deployment is confused with the level of adoption.
- Data from America is compared with data from other countries, without regard for factors such as population density or percentage of rural versus suburban or urban areas.
- The data that does exist is presented in ways intended to support a specific policy or political view rather than allowing the data to speak to itself.

While adoption has been rapid, hitting 50 percent of the overall U.S. homes in the second half of 2007, it hasn't matched the pace of deployment, the study shows. In states like Kentucky and California, deployment surpasses 95 percent. Specific projects in those and other states and areas have pushed deployment to these levels.

Rural areas, despite lower population density, don't have to lag behind. In Iowa, for example, rural communities often have better access than non-rural areas, a "reverse digital divide," according to the study. However, despite this deployment, there remain substantial differences between rates of rural deployment and rates of adoption of broadband.

"Programs that focus resources on factors relating to adoption need to be strengthened," continued McClure.

The full study can be found at

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