On Monday, George Ou of the Digital Society think tank systematically trashed the Harvard Berkman Study, concluding:
The underlying data cited by Berkman study is simply too flawed to be of any use. And because the study bases its conclusions on flawed data, the conclusions drawn in the Berkman broadband study are equally unreliable.
Bret Swanson (former executive editor of The Gilder Technology Report) writes:
the real purpose of the report is to make a single point: foreign “open access” broadband regulation, good; American broadband competition, bad.
The gaping, jaw-dropping irony of the report was its failure even to mention the chief outcome of America’s previous open-access regime: the telecom/tech crash of 2000-02. We tried this before. And it didn’t work!
There will be more criticism leveled at this report. Bottom line?
As we stated on page 24 of our report [ pdf, 944KB], in undertaking any international comparison, one must be cautious not to fix on any one measure regardless of whether it provides good or bad news. Much more can be learned by considering a range of indicators and most importantly, understanding and taking into account the underlying factors that influence the results.
Ignoring this understanding, too many are seduced by capturing easy headlines and fail to do their own scholarly analysis of the data.