The Federal Communications Commission is poised to announce a new 10-year initiative to give the United States “the fastest and most extensive wireless networks of any nation.” The goal is to assure that at least 100 million homes have access to broadband networks at speeds of at least 100 megabits per second (20 times faster than today’s average speed).
The Broadband Initiative is funded through the Recovery Act, and details can be found at www.broadband.gov. Among the details coming out about the National Broadband Plan roadmap is the creation of a wireless network for first responders (fire, police, public safety) to communicate and share data and video during major emergencies. The use of broadband for education and access to healthcare records is another priority.
Julius Genachowski, the F.C.C. chairman, asserts that the United States is lagging far behind other countries in broadband adoption and speed, with a third of Americans having no access to high-speed Internet service.