National Broadband Plan is headed to Congress

Summary:The long-awaited National Broadband Plan is heading for Congress tomorrow, the FCC reports.

The Federal Communications Commission said today that it will release its National Broadband Plan to Congress tomorrow, a plan for "connecting all corners of the nation" with a robust and affordable communications network that will transform the economy and U.S. society. Bu

In a statement, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said the plan is a first step at helping the U.S. compete globally. He said:

The National Broadband Plan is a 21st century roadmap to spur economic growth and investment, create jobs, educate our children, protect our citizens, and engage in our democracy. 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.

The plan, to be rolled out over the next decade, includes the following goals and recommendations:

  • Connect 100 million households to affordable 100-megabits-per-second service, building the world's largest market of high-speed broadband users and ensuring that new jobs and businesses are created in America.
  • Affordable access in every American community to ultra-high-speed broadband of at least 1 gigabit per second at anchor institutions such as schools, hospitals, and military installations so that America is hosting the experiments that produce tomorrow's ideas and industries.
  • Ensure that the United States is leading the world in mobile innovation by making 500 megahertz of spectrum newly available for licensed and unlicensed use.
  • Move our adoption rates from roughly 65 percent to more than 90 percent and make sure that every child in America is digitally literate by the time he or she leaves high school.
  • Bring affordable broadband to rural communities, schools, libraries, and vulnerable populations by transitioning existing Universal Service Fund support from yesterday’s analog technologies to tomorrow’s digital infrastructure.
  • Promote competition across the broadband ecosystem by ensuring greater transparency, removing barriers to entry, and conducting market-based analysis with quality data on price, speed, and availability.
  • Enhance the safety of the American people by providing every first responder with access to a nationwide, wireless, interoperable public safety network.

The full plan won't be publicly released until tomorrow but the executive summary is available now.

Topics: Broadband, Networking, Telcos

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