WASHINGTON -- The cable industry's top lobbyist defended broadband in the United States against complaints that the country has fallen behind others in terms of speed and innovation.

"America is home to the world’s very best Internet companies," said Michael Powell, chief executive of the National Cable & Telecommunications Assn. at the lobbying group's annual convention here. "We have worked hard to reach everyone, and now offer service to 93% of American homes."

Comparisons to other countries, Powell said, are not fair.

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"Despite our success, many people like to denigrate U.S. broadband by painting false comparisons to other countries," Powell said. "There are some nations doing very well, but it is foolish to compare countries like Latvia and France to the United States of America."

Powell went on to say that the population of the U.S. and its size need to be factored in before making blanket statements.

"If you compare individual U.S. states to hundreds of foreign countries, 10 of the top 15 fastest regions in the world are here in America," he said.

But despite all that, over the past five years, the U.S. has gone from 22nd to 8th in terms of Internet speed, and connection speeds have also tripled," Powell said. 

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