I was just perusing some broadband penetration rate figures and noticed that the US continues to fall further behind our international competitors. At the end of the 3rd quarter of 2005, we had fallen to 19th in the world, barely ahead of Slovenia. Former broadband laggard like France and the UK have now surpassed the US and we may fall out of the top 20 entirely soon. This is a slow building national crisis. As we continue to fall further behind, we may be crippling our economy in the long run.Now I know that the naysayers will say that it isn’t fair to compare the US to Korea and Japan in broadband penetration because of the higher population density. Fair enough. So let’s compare the US to Canada, which also has a huge rural hinterland. And what do we find? Canada’s broadband penetration is a full 1/3 higher than the US. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the Canadian government made broadband deployment a priority long ago.One other interesting statistic I found was that Korean broadband penetration actually fell from Q2 to Q3 of 2005. Of course that still left Korea with 67 broadband connections per 100 households compared to 33 in the US. But it might be a sign of market saturation for broadband. If so, it just shows how far the US has to go to be internationally competitive in broadband.