Robert Jaques reports the remarkable surge of broadband Internet service:

The global number of broadband subscribers grew 72 per cent in 2002 to approximately 62 million, according to a report from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
Home users are driving the vast majority of broadband demand.

“Broadband is arriving at a time when the revolutionary potential of the internet has still to be fully tapped,” said Dr Tim Kelly, head of the Strategy and Policy Unit at ITU.

But he added that although broadband is accelerating the integration of the internet into our daily lives, it is not a major industry driver in the same way that mobile phones and the internet were in the 1990s.

Strangely, the U.S. is not a leader in this trend:

The Republic of Korea was found to lead the way in broadband penetration, with approximately 21 broadband subscribers for every 100 inhabitants.

Hong Kong ranks second in the world with nearly 15 broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants, and Canada ranks third with just over 11 broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants.

Ironically, I’m looking at the possibility of dropping out of the broadband set. Despite living within ten miles of the headquarters of both MCI and AOL, I’m not going to be able to get DSL access in the new place. Thus, to get broadband, I’ll either have to sign up for cable television and give up DirecTV–and the NFL Sunday Ticket that I’ve already paid for; pay the ridiculous price DirecTV charges for their own internet service (a $500 install and $50 a month or $99 a month without the install); or pay for both DirecTV and cable to get cable modem. Just bizarre.

The other option is WiFi. I’ve read a little bit about that but don’t know whether that’s a viable option. Anyone out there have any clues?

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Blogeline says:

    How about good-old-fashioned Dial-Up;)

  2. joy says:

    Well, you’re pretty much screwed if you don’t want to use cable or satellite.

    However, there are a few options that you may just want to check out. First is speakeasy, a national ISP which may have a network node near you. Very geek friendly.

    Somewhat related to the speakeasy option, is to look at your phone book and see if there are any local independent telcos/ISPs around that offer broadband. They might be able to hook you up independently of Verizon (I’m guessing that’s your provider).

    Secondly, you could look for a WIFI ISP near you. Look in the phone book.

    Last and most farfetched, would be to see if anyone else in your complex has a local wifi network and is willing to share*. You might be able to piggyback on someone’s network. *this option comes with it’s own problems, but let’s suspend that for now.

  3. James Joyner says:

    Blogeline: Dial-up is the alternative if I can’t find an affordable broadband option. But it’s difficult to, say, maintain the site from home with dial-up.

    Joy: Thanks! I’ll do some research on this soon. Fortunately, I don’t move until the 1st. I’m not opposed to satellite, but DirecTV’s is waaay too expensive. The problem with cable is they essentially force you to subscribe to their TV service, too, and I really prefer DirecTV–especially since I’m thinking of getting their TiVo version.