Study: Administration's broadband plan must increase U.S. ranking

Now that the National Broadband Plan has been handed over to Congress, how will its success be judged?

The 9-month effort yielded a 350-page report with numerous recommendations for making broadband a ubiquitous utility in the United States. The Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies says the Obama Administration's plan will be deemed a success if the U.S. jumps six slots to 9th place in international broadband rankings.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) now ranks the United States 15th in terms of broadband adoption--a fact often cited by federal regulators and lawmakers as a reason new policies should be put in place to boost the country's economic competitiveness.

Rising to 9th place would be an indication that the broadband strategy, as well as the $7.2 billion in broaband stimulus funds, met their goals over the next two or three years, according to a new study the Phoenix Center plans to release today.

The study also says that, based on historical trends, the U.S. will likely move to 13th in broadband adoption by 2012 "even without significant policy changes." The study also finds that "there is very little risk of a downward movement in rank."