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FCC National Broadband Plan Submitted To Congress

The Federal Communications Commission submitted its National Broadband Plan, as expected, to Congress yesterday.  Still in its preliminary stages, it outlines some of the Commission’s major goals.  There is a lot of work cut out for the FCC, and it wants to first establish a standard metric for network quality.  This will come in the forms of broadband benchmarking and pricing reports; unsurprising, as they already have shown interest in setting up speed tests and collecting data from ISPs in terms of latency.

The FCC’s policy fleshes out four major recommendations that they want to see  implemented:

  1. Encourage and ensure “robust competition”
  2. Use government resources and controls to update the networks
  3. Deploy “broadband and voice in high-cost areas” and allow for broadband to be accessible and affordable to lower income Americans
  4. Maximize government usage and benefits of broadband in public sectors

This is coupled by 6 long-term goals to guide the next decade:

  1. The famed dream of 100 million US homes having access to 100 Mbps Down/50 Mbps Up
  2. The US becoming the leader of “mobile innovation, with the fastest and most extensive wireless networks of any nation”
  3. All Americans having “affordable access to robust broadband service”
  4. All communities having access to 1 Gbps lines to provide vital services for education, healthcare, and government
  5. All first responders having “access to a nationwide, wireless, interoperable broadband public safety network”
  6. All Americans being able to use broadband to check on their energy consumption in real-time

The budget costs may be paid off following the successful auctioning of a 500 MHz spectrum to mobile carriers.  Any additional cost to taxpayers should be offset by the benefits coming from improved government efficiency, and using previously allocated government funding.  The full plan is a comprehensive 6-page report, but it still is officially and likely always be, like most Google products, in beta.  The FCC has the surprisingly realistic sentiment that the Internet is constantly in flux, and the plan will need to account for future changes.

Via Engadget, FCC

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