FCC Challenge: 1Gb Internet Service in Every State by 2015

Paul Lilly

1Gb Internet service could be coming to a city near you.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Julius Genachowski issued a nationwide " Gigabit City Challenge " to broadband providers and state and municipal community leaders to roll out 1Gb Internet service in all 50 states by 2015. Genachowki's hope is that establishing at least one gigabit community in each state will spur innovators to create new businesses and industries.

There's a lot of work to be done to meet the challenge. According to the Fiber to the Home Council, around 42 communities in just 14 states are served by ultra high-speed fiber Internet providers. To help communities rise to the occasion, Genachowski said he plans to create a new online clearinghouse of best practices to collect and disseminate information about how to lower costs and increase the speed of broadband deployment nationwide.

"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," Genachowski said in a statement.

A 1Gb Internet connection is about 100 times faster than an average fixed high-speed connection. With that kind of throughput, networks can handle multiple streams of large-format, HD content. This is especially important in places like hospitals and other locations where multiple services are offered in the same building.

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