FCC sets high broadband speed bar

Just as the FCC puts the finishing touches on the broadband plan it has to deliver to Congress next month, the agency has set a goal that the minimum broadband access speed should be 100 Mbps.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said during this week's National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) conference that the agency's proposed "100 Squared Initiative" is designed to deliver 100 Mbps to 100 million homes. However, details on how or when Genachowski wants to achieve his "100 Squared Initiative" at this point are scarce.      

"Our plan will set goals to have the world's largest market of very high speed Internet users," he said.

As pointed out in a Light Reading Cable article, cable operators and telcos such as Verizon can deliver 100 Mbps speeds today over their respective DOCSIS 3.0 and Fiber to the Premise (FTTP)-based networks. According to SNL Kagan, DOCSIS 3.0 services passed 48.6 million homes, while Verizon's FiOS service passed 12.2 million homes and businesses at the end of 2009.

Genachowski thinks that the U.S. can do better. He cited Google's plans to launch a 1 Gbps pilot open access FTTP network initiative as one example of how the U.S. can reach its goals.

"And we should stretch beyond 100 megabits," Genachowski said. "The U.S. should lead the world in ultra high-speed test beds as fast or faster than anywhere in the world."

For more:
- Reuters has this article
- Light Reading Cable has this analysis

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