FCC chair gives nod to Google, will push for ultra-fast broadband
The Federal Communications Commission will announce a plan to bring Internet speeds of 100 megabits a second and faster to all American homes.
In a speech Tuesday morning, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said faster speeds are important for small businesses to bring operations onto the Web and create more jobs. And he gave kudos to Google for its plan to test fiber networks with speeds of 1 gigabit per second.
“Our plan will set goals for the U.S. to have the world’s largest market of very high-speed broadband users . . . to unleash American ingenuity and ensure that businesses, large and small, are created here, move here, and stay here,” Genachowski said in a speech at conference for public utilities commissioners.
“And we should stretch beyond 100 megabits. The U.S. should lead the world in ultra-high-speed broadband testbeds as fast, or faster, than anywhere in the world,” he said.
The U.S. has dropped in international rankings for broadband adoption and speeds, behind such nations as South Korea, which has wired much of its population with Internet connections that allow for fast video downloads, online multiplayer gaming and video teleconferencing.
Genachowski said Google’s broadband project should drive others to compete at similar speeds.
“Higher speeds mean more jobs, more innovation, and more economic growth,” said spokeswoman Jen Howard.
The FCC has been charged by Congress to figure out how to bring broadband Internet connections across the nation. It has been urged by consumer groups to set a high bar on how high access speeds should be in their plan. The FCC’s national broadband plans, to be presented to Congress on March 17, aren’t regulations but will be a list of goals set by the agency to drive other policy decisions, officials said. And Genachowski didn't detail how those speeds standards would appear in the plan.
Genachowski said the broadband plan will also recommend a “once-in-a-generation” reform of a federal phone fund that would convert it over time to support broadband Internet.
He said the plan will recommend ways to free up a “significant amount “of spectrum in the years ahead – both for licensed and unlicensed use, which could include WiFi connections and white spaces.
February 16, 2010; 11:21 AM ET
Categories: Broadband , FCC
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