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

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
twitter.com/markmilian

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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%

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Comments () | Archives (5)

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This one is another split for me. The capitalist side wants to say there are folks like my wife who do not see the point to the internet, so why have it. Then there is the side that thinks since government is insisting on sticking it's nose into the internet they should provide basic access to all.

Let us not forget that Sweden total population is less than that of LA. I also disagree with government having any control over the internet. HAM radio was so clumsy and I would hate to have to try and find my Radio Shack card.

Thanks for sharing about 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.

I am American and had my computer since the beginning. I watched it grow into something that is dangerous due to so many crooks using it. So I don't see that it is such a big deal to be first. Let Canada have first place.

I don't care how much or what kind of security you have, there are computer-smart crooks out there to circumvent whatever security you have.

Wow. I never thought US would be the last on the list. Considering US as one of the most powerful countries in the world had a little internet deficiency towards other countries. But the funds given for US's internet broadband development is good enough to make it happen...i think..


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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