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Following the recent publication of global broadband statistics, the Economist has asked why speed matters.

According to the journal, the issue of broadband speeds is subject to the "productivity paradox", which was developed by Nobel Prize-winner Eric Solow to demonstrate that new technologies do not necessarily have a knock-on effect for commercial productivity.

The Economist notes that recent statistics from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show that while countries such as Korea and Japan soar ahead in the speed stakes, there is little tangible evidence that this is providing a boost for businesses in these nations.

"Can the Japanese and Koreans (who finish at the top of OECD's charts) do something at 100mbps that the Americans, British and Germans (in the middle tier) can't at 20mbps?" the resource asks.

Ultimately, the report argues, the biggest benefit of super-fast broadband might be the creation of a participatory culture on the internet, with social groups able to interact and share information seamlessly.

The OECD report released earlier this month showed that the number of people using broadband services worldwide had reached 235 million.

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