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Re: ISP's In Uproar Over Verizon-MCI Merger

  • From: Joe Abley
  • Date: Wed Aug 24 23:43:17 2005

On 24-Aug-2005, at 22:43, Dan Golding wrote:

I suggest you take another look at these numbers. Those countries with
overall population densities lower than the US's all have something in
common - they are really cold. Iceland, Canada, Finland, Norway, Sweden.
Folks in those countries are densely packed into relatively small regions of
their overall land area (near oceans or in cities). Sure, some folks live
out in Nunavut, but a relatively small number. Contrast that with the US
where the population is far more spread out.

This is an issue of both distribution and density, not just density.
It's an issue of far more than either of those, and that is my point.

By way of example, New Zealand has a population density of 15 people per square km, vs. 30 for the US. It's a much smaller country by size. The population is much smaller. The population is also sufficiently centralised around few major urban centres that you can reach almost a third of the whole country's population if you decide to serve just Auckland.

The US is number 11 on the OECD list, with 13 broadband subscribers per 100 people. New Zealand is number 22 with 4.7.

If it was just down to population distribution and population density, New Zealand would be awash with broadband Internet. It isn't. (New Zealand provides a useful model of what happens when you privatise the incumbent telco and provide almost no regulatory assistance to competitors at all.)

While it certainly doesn't hurt to have highly concentrated, urban population centres when you want to build an access network, there are many more differences between the different economies on the OECD list than just geography.


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