Today's New York Times includes an article by John Markoff entitled "Study Gives High Marks to US Internet." But either John Markoff is fuzzy about exactly what the Internet is or he didn't actually read the report. His title is way off base. He did interview a few people who are quoted in the latter part of the article, so there is some information in the article. But he's done a major disservice for the many who read only the title or perhaps first paragraph.
The study in question is the Global Information Technology Report recently published by the World Economic Forum. While the printed report costs money, the summary is on-line and an interactive version gives access to all their data.
This is a report on information technology not specifically on the Internet (just look at the title). The researchers measured 68 different attributes of information technology, only a few of which directly pertain to the Internet, e.g.
|Internet users (per 100 pop.)||7|
|Internet access in schools||12|
|Broadband Internet subscribers||17|
To his credit, the first section of the report is about "network readiness" and the US is ranked #4, however the study's definition of network readiness includes all sorts of features of the broad business environment, regulatory aspects and computing infrastructure.
Here are the 68 attributes the World Economic Forum study examines: