Federal Communications Commission

The National Broadband Plan

March 16th, 2010 by Julius Genachowski - Chairman, Federal Communications Commission.

Today, the FCC delivered on one of the most important directives Congress and the President have ever given our agency:  A directive to prepare “a national broadband plan [that] shall seek to ensure that all people of the United States have access to broadband capability.” 

Why is this assignment so important? 

  • First, because broadband is essential to our global competitiveness – and our ability to create jobs and lead the world in innovation in the 21st century.
  • Second, because broadband is essential for opportunity in America – for all Americans, from all communities and backgrounds, living in rural towns, inner cities, or in between. 
  • And, third, because broadband is essential to solving so many of the challenges facing our nation --  including education, health care, energy and public safety.

We need a strategic plan for broadband in America, because, notwithstanding the many exciting things happening here around wired and wireless broadband, our country is not where it should be. 
The U.S. is lagging globally in broadband adoption and speeds; certain communities within the U.S. are lagging; and the costs of digital exclusion grow higher every day as vital services are increasingly moving online. 

The good news is that we can change course, and the National Broadband Plan points the way.

The plan sets ambitious, but achievable goals, including 1-gigabit connections to every community; affordable, 100 megabits broadband to 100 million households; and raising adoption from 65% to 90% adoption, heading to 100%.

Billions of dollars in private investment will be required to achieving these goals.

At the same time, government has a crucial, but restrained, role to play. The Plan includes recommendations to:

  • Finally transform the FCC’s Universal Service Fund from yesterday’s communications to tomorrow’s;
  • Recover and unleash licensed and unlicensed spectrum so that we can lead the world in mobile;
  • Cut red tape, lowering the cost of private investment, and accelerating network deployment;
  • Promote competition and empower consumers; and
  • Tackle vital inclusion challenges, so that everyone, everywhere can enjoy the benefits of broadband.

In these challenging economic times, a focus on job creation, investment, and fiscal responsibility is also mandatory, and I’m pleased that the Plan proposes actions that are revenue neutral, even before looking at the benefits from job creation and new investment.

We now pivot from planning to action. The FCC will focus with laser-like precision on efficient and effective ways to implement the plan’s recommendations.
We’ll be doing this through a process that’s open, participatory, fact-based, and analytically rigorous. 

The broader the participation, the better the results will be.  I urge everyone to visit and get engaged.

Working together, we can unleash on behalf of all America’s people the power of a technology with the greatest potential to advance our economic and social well-being since the advent of electricity. 

6 Responses to “The National Broadband Plan”

  1. James Johnson says:

    I have at&t DSL and I wish there was more competition. I get about 82% of what I subscribe to and I am subscribing to the slowest speed, 768kbps. Sometimes my DSL does not work at all. The company sent me equipment that I did not ask for after I told them I would supply my own equipment and then they charged me for its shipment. I have not resolved the issues with them yet and I think that if at&t had to tell the truth to stay in business they would have disappeared years ago.

  2. Linda says:

    I wish your Broadband Dead Zone form would better address my predicament. I do have a broadband option available, an EVDO card, which is expensive, limits usage to 5G/mo (making it unavailable for any real primary internet use, much less video streaming), and in my case is very slow for broadband (500kbs/40kbs). We tried satellite for a while and it was even worse. I would gladly purchase better service, but it just isn't available. We are only 10 miles from town, and less than a mile from a cable line, but they won't extend it to us or the other 20 families on our mile long road. Too far from a phone hub to get dsl. Get them to divert some of their advertising budget into infrastructure and I would buy some of their offers that fill my airwaves and mailbox continually.

  3. Andrea Anderson says:

    Broadband is especially important in rural areas. And, frankly, now that technology is king I think that broadband should be much like television was before the whole digital issues came up... it should be a basic necessity made available to all.

  4. robert thomas says:

    yes, i too have no broadband options at my house. 2020 is to long to wait.

  5. robert thomas says:

    now that the plan is finished how long before it becomes law. and how does it become law. is it going into effect now or does it have to be voted on in the congress/senate?

  6. Guest says:

    Please hurry, we cant wait till 2020. I have been waiting ten years and my phone company will not bring broadband. They told me they have no intention to. They would sell me slow limited use satelite at a price I cannot afford and would not qualify for the work at home jobs I have applied for because of slow speed, low monthly usage allotment, and weather unreliability. HELP!! Giter Done Fast!! Thank You. They charge me more than people in the cities pay for Cable TV , Unlimited phone and 5MB internet. I only get 26kbs here . Help!

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