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FCC calls for 100Mbps across most of US

updated 11:35 am EST, Tue February 16, 2010

FCC 100 Squared wants 100Mbps in 100m homes

FCC chairman Julius Genachowski at a conference today launched (PDF) an effort to boost the speed of Internet access in the US to 100Mbps and higher. Dubbed 100 Squared, it would provide at least 100Mbps access to 100 million homes in the US. The official didn't give a timetable for the rollout but hoped it would boost adoption of broadband from 65 percent today to 90 percent.

The ongoing National Broadband Plan is expected to help out and, among other plans, would gradually repurpose the Universal Service Fund from phone lines to Internet connections. Genachowski also warned that the US shouldn't stop at the symbolic 100Mbps and pointed to the Google Fiber project's 1Gbps as an example of what could be done by a motivated private company.

Significant obstacles exist for the plan and primarily center on technology. Current cable modem service often peaks at 25Mbps and is typically expensive at this rate; new DOCSIS 3.0 modems can reach 100Mbps but are only available in a few areas and are so far only served 50Mbps connections. Verizon is the best prepared with its fiber optic FiOS network but would need to complete more upgrades to reach the 100Mbps speed across most of its network.

Internet providers have also traditionally been resistant to any moves to supply broadband to many rural areas that would be needed to reach the 90 percent coverage target, going so far as to sponsor "astroturf" (fake grassroots) organizations and engaging in frequent lobbying to discourage mandates for service in these areas. The advent of 4G is expected to mitigate some of this as it substantially lowers the cost of covering a remote area, although LTE and similar standards may provide much less than 100Mbps in practice.

by MacNN Staff



  1. macemoneta

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Still asymmetric

    DOCSIS 3.0 is still an asymmetric implementation. Many cable operators have deployed fiber (at least) to the curb. As a result, the only thing maintaining their use of DOCSIS is their cable mindset. Pure TCP/IP solutions exist (see FIOS), but as long as 'cable' companies think they are still cable companies, they will not be competitive.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Such arguments or 'goals' like these are just plain unfounded and stupid. Why would "100 Mbps" internet magically boost adoption? Last I heard, those who want/need a fast pipe already have internet service, and are just complaining about the speed. But those 35% are without most likely due to costs and want/need (I know, it is amazing to think that there are people who neither have a computer or have no desire for internet access).

    The truth is that the vast majority of people with internet access can easily get by with 1 or 2 Mbps, if not less, as they aren't downloading movies day in and day out, and even the fastest internet connection doesn't really help speed up your email.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. MacOS

    Joined: Dec 1969


    You miss whats really going on . . .

    This is a classic case of the gov & biz working together or fcc is a pupet for big biz. Take your pick. Once adoption hits 90% thats the delta for when gov begins taxing INTERNET. Get the people hook first, then tax them. Guess who is going to pay for the buildout these 100000 gbits networks in the form of tax credit given to big biz? Yep, YOU!

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: You miss

    And one has to ask: What is so special about the internet that it shouldn't be taxed?

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I Say, Therefore You Will Do...

    Do people think that if a burgeoning market for faster speeds were around the corner or even here now that providers wouldn't be expanding and charging premiums for the service?

    While video streaming services like Netflix and Uverse are on the rise (and providers are expanding as populations spread and demand grows), I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who are finding they can cut $20+ a month from their bills by dropping the faster internet speeds, or even more without cable/satellite/FIOS service.

    Trends of media large media consumption are growing, but they are being stifled by the current economy. No directive or command from the blowhard FCC is going to change that. If some enterprising groups want to make the infrastructure investment now while some hardware may be cheap, they may be ahead of the curve. However, with people the current economic climate having no end in site (except perhaps in 2011?), there's little reason to build something that won't be used.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Little reason to build something...

    Yea. That always works. No body uses electricity in the U.S., so there's no need to build out the existing infrastructure. It's more profitable to just let it collapse.

  1. igot8001

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Imminent chain of events...

    Yep, the FCC is mandating changes, and they WILL tax the internet at one point, but we're missing the key ingredient: they'll magically disappear when consumers begin complaining that their provider has tripled their price. Nobody wins.

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