It’s hard to imagine the United States being behind in Internet technology, but apparently, we’re slacking. An article I read today in the NY Times suggests Bush is to blame.

From the 1960’s until the day President Bush took office, [Thomas Bleha]* writes, “The United States led the world in Internet development.”

No longer. The Bush administration’s policies, or lack thereof, have since allowed Asia – Japan in particular – to not only catch up in the development and expansion of broadband and mobile phone technology, but to roundly pound us into the dirt. “The lag,” he diplomatically asserts, “is arguably the result of the Bush administration’s failure to make a priority of developing these networks.”

Japan instituted what used to be called an industrial policy, which provided incentives for expanding broadband and wireless technology to the masses. The United States, meanwhile, has done essentially nothing. Japan is now well ahead of us in the percentage of homes with broadband. And their broadband on average is about half the price and 16 times the speed of ours.

From the NY Times

*Thomas Bleha in an article accessible on the Foreign Affairs magazine Web site.

Perhaps, along with not reading the news, he also doesn’t use the Internet, so it’s not a priority or concern for him. Who knows. But what irks me is not that my broadband connection could be 16 times faster (though that would be cool), but that it could be half the price.