Gigabit Broadband Coming?

If Federal Communications Commission’s chairman Julius Genachowski has his way, all 50 states will have gigabit-speed broadband services by 2015.

At a recent meeting of U.S. mayors in Washington, D.C., Genachowski unveiled what he terms a “Gigabit City Challenge,” which calls on municipal leaders and service providers to deploy gigabit speed broadband in at least one community in each of the 50 states in the next two to three years. Participating communities would turn themselves into innovation hubs that would create valuable jobs for its citizens.

In the National Broadband Plan the FCC presented to Congress in 2010, Genachowski set a goal of getting 100 Mbps broadband to 100 million households by 2020. Now the chairman has upped the ante with his challenge to get speeds to 1 gigabit per second.

One Gbps is 100 times faster than today’s average Internet connection. And building such networks can be expensive, since they require investments in infrastructure. But Genachowski said that those investments will be worth it.

“American economic history teaches a clear lesson about infrastructure,” he said. “If we build it, innovation will come. The U.S. 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.”

Only 42 communities across 14 states already have ultra-high-speed broadband. Google is one company that has been pushing the idea of gigabit networks. Last year it launched a gigabit broadband network in parts of Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kansas. And the city is already seeing strong demand for the service, the FCC said.

—Source: CNet News

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