There’s been a lot of chatter the past couple days around the FCC National Broadband Plan. Launched in April of 2009 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (better known to you and me as the stimulus package), the goal of the FCC plan is to “…ensure every American has access to broadband capability.”
The 10-year FCC plan calls for connecting 100 million households to affordable 100-megabits-per-second service, affordable access to ultra-high-speed broadband of at least 1 gigabit per second at anchor institutions such as schools, hospitals, and military installations and making 500 megahertz of spectrum newly available for licensed and unlicensed use.
There are four key issues that come out of the FCC’s report, taken from an article in yesterday’s digiday:DAILY:
- The FCC wants to ensure robust competition and, as a result, maximize consumer welfare, innovation and investment.
- It wants to upgrade “management of assets the government controls or influences, such as spectrum, poles, and rights-of-way, to encourage network upgrades and competitive entry.”
- The FCC wants broadband to ensure low-income affordability for broadband, and finally
- It wants to maximize the benefits of broadband in sectors government influences significantly, such as public education, health care and government operations.
The FCC National Broadband Plan Website lists 6 goals:
- Goal 1: At least 100 million U.S. homes should have affordable access to actual download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second and actual upload speeds of at least 50 megabits per second.
- Goal 2: The United States should lead the world in mobile innovation, with the fastest and most extensive wireless networks of any nation.
- Goal 3: Every American should have affordable access to robust broadband service, and the means and skills to subscribe if they so choose.
- Goal 4: Every community should have affordable access to at least 1 Gbps broadband service to anchor institutions such as schools, hospitals and government buildings.
- Goal 5: To ensure the safety of Americans, every first responder should have access to a nationwide public safety wireless network.
- Goal 6: To ensure that America leads in the clean energy economy, every American should be able to use broadband to track and manage their real-time energy consumption.
As the digiday:DAILY article indicates, this seems to be about much more than bandwidth for the Internet or wireless networks.
What’s your position on the FCC National Broadband Plan? Please leave a comment below.