For millions of Americans, having access to speedy Internet and USENET is still an impossibility. The FCC has promised it would fix this when it announced the National Broadband Plan in 2010. Since then, there hasn’t been much progress made on the agency’s goal of making sure everybody has access to inexpensive broadband Internet. At a meeting on Friday, the Commission finally showed some signs that it’s starting to get serious.
To help make this happen, Genachowski’s announced plans for a new online clearing-house of best practices, with information about how to lower costs and increase the speed of broadband deployment nationwides. He called for at least 1 gigabit speed broadband community in all 50 states by 2015 during remarks at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting on Jan. 18.
He’s also promising workshops on gigabit communities with broadband providers and state and municipal leaders, to evaluate barriers, increase incentives, and lower the costs of speeding up gigabit network deployment.
At the moment, there are only about 42 communities in 14 states served by ultra-high-speed fiber internet, according to the Fiber to the Home Council.
Although there are no new funding programs accompanying the claim, Genachowski argued that the FCC is already helping spread high-speed broadband through funding for connections to schools and hospitals, along with some simpler measures such as reducing red tape for broadband providers that need to access utility poles.
He explained in prepared remarks:
American economic history teaches a clear lesson about infrastructure. If we build it, innovation will come. The US needs a critical mass of gigabit communities nationwide so that innovators can develop next-generation applications and services that will drive economic growth and global competitiveness.
For reference, 1 gigabit-per-second connectivity speeds are approximately a hundred times faster than the average current high-speed Internet connection.
It’s easy to see how Internet connections like that matter more for high-definition multimedia — especially as consumers come to depend more on USENET as well as the cloud for accessing streaming HD videos and music.