Since April 2009, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission has been working on a plan to provide every U.S. resident high-speed Internet access. Today, it ships the 376-page National Broadband Plan to Congress.
“This is America’s plan, written by and for Americans. It’s now time to act and invest in our nation’s future by bringing the power and promise of broadband to us all.”
But what is the plan? Here are some key points:
- 100 million Americans don’t have broadband at home. Nearly 200 million do.
- To make sure everyone does have affordable access, the government should consider offering broadband for free or at a very low cost.
- At minimum, every American should have Internet service of at least 4 Mbps download speeds and 1 Mbps up.
- By 2015, 100 million U.S. homes should have affordable access to actual download speeds of 50 Mbps and actual upload speeds of 20 Mbps.
- The government can use its power to:
- Design policies to ensure competition.
- Make sure the infrastructure is available, such as spectrum, poles and rights-of-ways. This would encourage network upgrades and competition.
- Reform current universal service mechanisms to support deployment of broadband and voice in high-cost areas.
- Reform laws, policies, standards and incentives to maximize the benefits of broadband in sectors government influences significantly, such as public education, health care and government operations. Read the rest of this entry »