FCC Chairman Issues Gigabit Ethernet Deployment Challenge In 50 States

Folks have long since argued about what government aspects are too wasteful, and which ones don't actually have a positive impact. But as technology fans, it's hard to knock this idea: FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has called for at least one gigabit community in all 50 states by 2015. It's a new challenge that should provide a solid background to the rural broadband initiatives that are already ongoing. While America sees plenty of innovation, it's actually lagging far, far behind many other nations when it comes to broadband infrastructure. Places like The Netherlands and South Korea have far greater average speeds than the United States, and while the U.S. is certainly a huge landmass to cover, there's nothing wrong with striving.

The Chairman is calling is a "Gigabit City Challenge," hoping to create the same kind of buzz that Google did with Kansas City, but in every single state. He was quoted as saying the following: "American economic history teaches a clear lesson about infrastructure. 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."

It's honestly about time someone stood up and set a benchmark. With video calling becoming the norm, and video streaming sneaking into business and consumer homes alike, it's time to start thinking seriously about getting super high speed connections to the masses. Today, approximately 42 communities in 14 states are served by ultra-high-speed fiber Internet providers, according to the Fiber to the Home Council. To help communities meet the Gigabit City Challenge, Chairman Genachowski announced plans to create a new online clearinghouse of best practices to collect and disseminate information about how to lower the costs and increase the speed of broadband deployment nationwide, including to create gigabit communities. At the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting, Chairman Genachowski proposed working jointly with the U.S. Conference of Mayors on the best-practices clearinghouse effort. Chairman Genachowski also announced that the FCC will hold workshops on gigabit communities.

Here's to the government actually seeing something through, and perhaps in 2015, we'll look back at this article and remember when it took a few milliseconds to load while thinking: "Man, how did people even deal with that?"
Tags:  WiFi, Internet, FCC, fiber, gigabit