Om Malik highlights the FTTH Council, a group that is pushing the U.S. government to adopt a 100 Megabit Nation policy by 2015.
The proposal by the group notes that:
There is already a demonstrable need for next-generation broadband networks to transmit video and other high-speed services, applications, and content to and from America’s citizens. This unmet need is brought into sharp focus by the numerous other countries deploying networks providing transmission speeds of 100 Mbps or greater. And, because these networks provide the foundation for an entirely new generation of services and products where they are built, economic growth and jobs are certain to follow. The United States cannot lag in building infrastructure fundamental to its future.
The FTTH Council urges Congress to adopt a strategy that will feature timelines, financial incentives, rural planning and other items to get to the 100 megabit mark.
The movement is commendable, but leaves one nagging question: What exactly would you do with 100 megabits to the home? It's a question that I'm often asked about since I'm looking to get Verizon's FiOS service in my neighborhood. The conversation goes like this:
Me: I can't wait to have fiber to my house and get 30 megabits or so of broadband pumped in.
Friend: Is that faster than cable?
Me: Hell yeah. At least twice as fast.
Friend: What are you going to do with fiber that's any different?
Me: Umm. Video downloads (nevermind that I rarely if ever watch much video let alone download a movie to my PC).
Friend: Why not just watch TV or Tivo something?
The bottom line: I have no clue what I'm going to do with the extra speed fiber to the home will provide. I know what Verizon wants to do--sell me TV service. But aside from faster Internet browsing I'm probably not going to do anything that creative with the extra speed. I just want the speed.
So if I don't know what I'm doing with 30 megabits of speed I really have no clue what I'll do with 100 megabits. My hunch is others have no clue either. Here's a poll, but it may need some write-in candidates.