Well, yes Paul:
Whenever I write about America’s lag in telecommunications — how we’re falling behind other countries both in wired and wireless networks — some people point out that we have much lower population density than Europe or Japan.
This is true in a literal sense, but largely irrelevant. Yes, there are vast open spaces in America. But hardly any of us live there.
That\’s, umm, sorta the definition of low population density, isn\’t it? Lots of space and not many people?
And the truth is that New Jersey is more typical of modern America than Crawford. In 2000, a sizable majority of Americans — 58% — lived in metropolitan areas with populations of more than a million people. Two thirds of us live in metro areas with more than half a million people.
The density issue isn’t entirely irrelevant. South Korea surged ahead in broadband partly because so many South Koreans live in easily-wired large apartment buildings. But there’s no excuse for poor network coverage in the fairly dense sprawl in which most Americans live.
Dense sprawl? Bit of a mix and match phrase there. But still, what about that urban density then? The Europeans are packed in two and a half times more densely, the Brits nearly four times.
Given that telecoms, whether mobile or land, have a very close relationship to population density, I still don\’t think you\’ve managed to blow off that concern, not yet.