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Bahrain (and 8 other countries) have more connected homes than U.S., study says

July 28, 2010 |  7:01 pm

HockeySorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Canada is better than us at something.

Our neighbor to the north is tied for third among countries with the top home Internet penetration rates, with 86% of adults reporting Web access in their homes, according to a Gallup poll published Wednesday. The United States is in 10th place with 81%.

The survey, conducted in 2009 with 1,000 adults in 116 countries, draws a pretty clear correlation between domestic prosperity and home Internet access.

Gallup's analysis touches upon another factor -- our large, varied population -- that might be holding the U.S. back further in the ranks. "Populations in the most connected countries also tend to be highly urbanized, reducing the cost of extending Internet delivery modes," wrote Gallup's Steve Crabtree.

Led by Sweden, the top 10 is listed at the bottom of this post. The survey doesn't deal with the much-debated issue of how fast those....

... data piped into the home are.

President Obama said $795 million of the economic stimulus package would go toward expanding the country's broadband Internet access. But the Washington Post makes an interesting point in a recent op-ed: that we should focus efforts on fully utilizing the speeds we already have.

As Web access expands, and the U.S. hopes to move up in the ranks, Obama may also gain access to an "Internet kill switch" if a Senate bill comes to pass. But hey, you can always hop the border to Canada for a solid Web connection.

-- Mark Milian

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Photo: Brian Gionta, No. 21, of the Montreal Canadiens handles the puck on his way to scoring against Michael Leighton of the Philadelphia Flyers. Credit: Jim McIsaac / Getty Images

Gallup: Homes with Internet access

1. Sweden, 88%
2. Singapore, 87%
3. Hong Kong, 86%
3. Switzerland, 86%
3. Canada, 86%
6. United Arab Emirates, 84%
6. Britain, 84%
6. South Korea, 84%
9. Bahrain, 82%
10. United States, 81%