Broadband News

FCC release the National Broadband Plan for the US

The US have released their National Broadband Plan today which details recommendations of how the country should proceed with pushing forward its broadband development over the coming years. Produced by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), the Plan details actions for connecting consumers and the economy up to take advantage of 21st century technology to help advance the country fully into the digital economy.

One third of Americans (100 million people) do not currently have broadband at home, with 14 million of these desiring it. This large gap in broadband availability creates a growing cost of digital exclusion, particularly with new applications destined to become available such as access to health information and education. Some specific goals have been set out to shape America's broadband vision for 2020.

  • Connect 100 million households up to affordable high-speed broadband services, offering download speeds of at least 100Mbps and upload speeds of at least 50Mbps
  • Bring affordable access for all Americans to ultra-high-speed broadband (1Gbps) at key locations such as schools, hospitals and libraries
  • Release 500MHz of spectrum to boost mobile-broadband services and create the worlds fastest and most extensive wireless network
  • Move broadband adoption rates up to more than 90% from current levels at around 65%
  • Promote competition in the broadband market by moving barriers to entry
  • Enhance safety by giving first responders access to a nationwide wireless public safety network

Many of the plans are logical steps forward which are in progress elsewhere, such as the re-allocation of analogue spectrum to more efficient digital services which frees up bandwidth for new mobile broadband services, and opening up access to ducts and poles.

A universal access policy will see everyone have access to affordable broadband that provides actual download speeds of 4Mbps, but the ambition lies to have this in place by 2020, with much of the funding coming from the existing Universal Service Fund supporting broadband.

Interestingly, they also see broadband as a way to drive energy efficiency and encourage care for the environment. They suggest that using broadband to modernize the electricity grid can make it more reliable and efficient, and broadband will also allow energy innovation in homes and businesses by making real-time usage data readily available to consumers.

Details discussed in the Plan are not set solid within stone as these recommendations are being set forth before Congress tomorrow which can tinker and adjust time-lines if it deems this appropriate. The full report can be read at


estimated cost $350 billion according to BBC News website ? Over $1,000 per head of population.

  • herdwick
  • over 10 years ago

herdwick perhaps they realise just getting on with it is more important than worrying about money all the time.

  • chrysalis
  • over 10 years ago

ah but are they better off without it if it costs that much, or could they use the money in a better way. A fair proportion of their population might prefer the money to be spent on healthcare, for example.

  • herdwick
  • over 10 years ago

It shows how paltry our own government's plans are, with a digital economy bill which seems only to be interested in protecting the incomes of record and film moguls

  • andygegg
  • over 10 years ago

I bet they are just the right thing to do by our leaders, I thought it has been forgotten about how far we lag behind the rest from the world-we're 15th within the world.South Korea has it all over the US in broadband access. To conserve face, the FCC has come up with a <a href="">national broadband plan</a>, that will put faster internet and phone access, as well as rural internet access at insane speeds in more hands. It may also create more jobs, and the aim is to have a national broadband network.

  • LEnS
  • over 10 years ago

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