According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) just-released Factbook, the U.S. now ranks 15th in the world in broadband penetration, down from 12th only six months ago.
Penetration is calculated as broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants.
The U.S. still has the most broadband subs at 58.1 million, or 29% of all broadband connections in the 30-member OECD, but that's down from 30% in June 2006.
The study Factbook also finds that the U.S. ranks 20th out of 30 member nations in penetration growth over the past year. Democrats have been critical of the FCC and the Bush administration for the pace of the broadband rollout, pointing out that the U.S. is behind countries like Finland, Norway and Luxembourg in broadband penetration.
Defenders of the U.S. rollout point out that many of the countries ahead of the U.S. have far more concentrated populations.
The OECD figures are likely to be cited in two broadband hearings being held in Congress Tuesday.