FCC Wants 100Mbs Broadband for U.S. Homes

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski on Tuesday said the agency will propose in an upcoming report a minimum Internet speed for American households.

Dubbed the “100 Squared Initiative,” Genachowski said that he hopes to bring speeds of 100 megabits per second to 100 million households, a speed that is significantly higher than what many households receive.

“The national broadband plan will set goals that are ambitious but achievable,” Genachowski told an audience at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners conference.

“Our plan will set goals to have the world’s largest market of very high speed Internet users,” he said.

The biggest broadband providers are Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), Time Warner (NYSE: TWC), AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ).

Genachowski did not provide details on the timelime of the initiative or how the FCC would encourage private sector providers to reach the minimum speeds.

The planned initiative, which will be proposed in the National Broadband Plan report to Congress next month, comes a week after Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) said it would build a super-fast Internet network for up to half a million people, a project that could pressure telecommunications companies to loosen their control of Web access in the United States.

In building the test network, Google wants to demonstrate that a carrier could easily manage complex applications that use a lot of bandwidth without sacrificing performance.

“And we should stretch beyond 100 megabits,” Genachowski said. “The U.S. should lead the world in ultra high-speed test beds as fast or faster than anywhere in the world.”

He lauded Google, the world’s top Internet search company, but called on other companies to step up their broadband plans.

“We need others to drive competition to invent the future,” he said.

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