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The 2018 Net Vitality Index Highlights Top-Tier Leadership in Global Broadband Internet Ecosystem Development
June 6, 2018                                                                                                      Contact: Stuart N. Brotman
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The 2018 Net Vitality Index Highlights Top-Tier Leadership in Global Broadband Internet Ecosystem Development
The United States and the United Kingdom retain their top-tier status from 2015; China, Germany and Canada replace South Korea, Japan, and France as leading broadband Internet ecosystem countries.
Washington, D.C., June 6, 2018—The Telecommunications Research and Policy Institute today released the full data analysis for Net Vitality 2.0: Identifying the Top-Tier Global Broadband Internet Ecosystem Leaders, the report released in March 2018 that revisits the pioneering research approach first developed in 2010 by Stuart N. Brotman, Howard Distinguished Endowed Professor of Media Management and Law; Beaman Professor of Journalism and Electronic Media, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
The new report presents Brotman’s Net Vitality Index In Detail. This report is available online at: The Net Vitality Index is unique as a reference tool that evaluates countries on an apples-to-apples basis, recognizing that countries are competing with each other to attract broadband Internet ecosystem talent, technology, and consumer loyalty, along with “bragging rights” that help spur broadband Internet ecosystem development even further.
The Index details countries that are leading on a global basis in their deployment and use of broadband applications and content; devices; and networks. In 2018, these top-tier countries are China, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Canada(listed by population size). Based on the original 2015 Net Vitality Index, only the United States and the United Kingdom retain their top-tier leadership status. The new report highlights that peer standing among nations must be pursued continuously, or else top-tier global broadband Internet ecosystem status may diminish over time.
This composite Index reflects a portfolio of established research indices created by such organizations as the United Nations, World Economic Forum, World Wide Web Foundation, and Freedom House. The Net Vitality Index is comprised of 38 independent data sources that encompass a holistic view of broadband Internet development. It is based on the foundation of the U.S. National Broadband Plan, still in force, which envisions broadband as an interrelated ecosystem with three main elements—applications and content, devices, and networks. Additionally, the Index includes important measurements of innovation and competitiveness in recognition of their continuing linkage with global broadband Internet competitiveness
The new report provides full information for all 38 indices, including where the top-tier countries rank within each of them. It also provides details regarding the methodology for creating the Net Vitality Index and links to the methodology sections of all the indices.
In developing the Net Vitality Index, Professor Brotman hopes to stimulate further analysis by the research community, and to provide a more evidence-based approach for policymakers around the world who are assessing the relative strengths and weaknesses of approaches to stimulate future broadband Internet ecosystem growth.
Currently, according to Professor Brotman, there is a serious disconnect between a desire to accelerate the Internet’s reach and usefulness with policy responses that look to traditional regulatory tools as primary enablers.The Net Vitality Index is designed to build bridges between researchers and policymakers by creating a necessary and more complex basis for evaluating the vitality of the broadband Internet ecosystem
The Net Vitality Index underscores that governments will continue to have critical roles to play outside the regulatory process—as catalysts and challengers to the private sector.“By encouraging companies to raise their aspirations, increase the pace of innovation and the scale of investments, and move to higher levels of competitive performance,” Professor Brotman notes, “governments of the five leading Net Vitality Index countries have been able to capitalize best on the favorable attributes that each country has in place.
The Net Vitality Index, in short, helps put into a global context which countries are true pacesetters in Net Vitality—the full experience of the broadband Internet ecosystem that now has such a central place in our lives at work and at home. In turn, this timely data can help in the development of future bench-marking and best practices analyses to spur even more impactful growth.
About the Author: Stuart N. Brotman has extensive experience as a university educator, government policymaker, global non-profit executive, management consultant, and international communications and media lawyer. He has served in four Presidential administrations on a bipartisan basis, including as chief of staff at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and as a member of the U.S. Department of State Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information Policy.  He is the author of the leading treatise on telecommunications and electronic mass media regulation, Communications Law and Practice, now in its 43rd edition.
About the Telecommunications Research and Policy Institute: The Telecommunications Research and Policy Institute (“TRPI”) is a nonprofit organization formed in 2016. TRPI serves as a sponsor of communications policy research and as a conduit for discussion and exploration of issues vital to communications companies, government regulators and consumers in the digital age. For more information visit 


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