Korea has best approach to broadband: EIU

Dylan Bushell-Embling
09 Feb 2011

South Korea has been named the top country by government planning on broadband development in a new comparison of 16 nations' approaches.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has published its first-ever Government Broadband Index, which aims rank 16 countries based on government approaches to broadband, not penetration or speed.

Each country was ranked based on their respective plans' target speeds, rollout timeframes and associated cost and regulatory initiatives.

South Korea achieved the highest score with 4.4%, followed closely behind by Japan and Singapore.

Australia, despite having the most high-profile broadband plan in its NBN project, ranks only 9th on the list, just above neighboring New Zealand.

The report says Australia was given this ranking because its plan will see the government spend 7.6% of annual government budgets on the rollout.

By comparison, South Korea plans to spend less than 1% of its budgets on its own plan, and intends to fill the gap by encouraging private sector investments.

Sweden and Finland were the European countries with the highest positions on the leaderboard, at equal fourth, followed by Estonia, France, Spain, Denmark, Italy, the UK, Germany and Greece. The USA came in equal tenth with New Zealand.

The report details some hefty government spending on broadband. The NBN project is slated to cost A$27 billion ($27.4b), while China is planning a $22 billion broadband development stimulus package.

The varying conditions of the respective broadband markets have led the countries to take different approaches ranging from strong to limited government intervention.

But the common thread that runs throughout is governments taking a leading role in driving broadband development, the report states.

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