Broadband in a broader context

As one of the most economically significant and fastest
growing sectors of the Internet, broadband networks
have attracted interest from researchers, network operators,
and policy makers. Over the past decade, the number of
broadband networks has increased rapidly. The latest “State
of Broadband” reports that there are over 60 countries where
fixed or mobile broadband penetration is above 25% and
more than 70 countries where the majority of the population
is online. Providing broadband Internet access is known
to be instrumental in social and economic development [35].
Several governments (including France, Finland and Spain)
and the UN have even labeled broadband access a basic
human right, similar to education and water.
While several recent and ongoing efforts have shed light on
the performance and availability of broadband services, we lack a clear understanding of how these services are being used and how this use is impacted by the particulars of the market. The goal of our work is to examine broadband services in this broader context.