Current broadband speeds in the U.S. average about 4Mbps, but that isn’t fast enough for the Federal Communications Commission. The agency wants to see 100Mbps speeds, and it wants broadband in every U.S. home by 2020, according to the BBC.
The FCC claimed about one third, or about 100 million people, don’t have broadband Internet access in their homes. “Every nation needs a common medium to gather around and to have the internet as a common medium where a third are left out is unacceptable,” commented former FCC chairman, Reed Hundt.
The biggest hurdle the FCC may have to overcome is getting the money to bring its plan to life. Some of the cash will likely come from earmarked funds in the 2009 stimulus package, and more could come from a wireless spectrum auction. With the weak economy, however, not every politician is going to be happy with idea of spending several billion dollars in upgrading the country’s broadband infrastructure.
According to the agency, providing broadband access to everyone is critical for education, healthcare, public safety, sharing information, energy management and government interaction. While some think the FCC’s proposal isn’t the one-stop answer for communication issues, the agency sees it as an important component in improving the country’s communication infrastructure.
“It’s an action plan, and action is necessary to meet the challenges of global competitiveness, and harness the power of broadband to help address so many vital national issues,” said FCC chairman Julius Genachowski.