FCC Feels Need for Speed(ier Broadband)

Paul Lilly

Want to ruffle a few feathers in the telecommunications industry? Try telling them to get on the ball and make 100Mbps transmission speeds a reality, and do it by 2020.

That's exactly what the FCC proposed earlier this week , saying it wants broadband providers to up the ante in the next decade and deliver 100Mbps speeds to 100 million homes in that time-frame. As it stands right now, the average U.S. Internet speed is only 4Mbps, so that's quite a gap to fill, and one that many ISPs say is simply unrealistic.

"A 100 meg is just a dream," Qwest Communications International Inc. Chief Executive Edward Mueller told Reuters. "We couldn't afford it."

Mueller went on to say that customers don't want speeds that high, so why bother. He wasn't alone in that sentiment.

"In order to earn a return for investors, you have to be conscious of what consumers will pay. I don't know this is something consumers wil pay for," Piper Jaffray analyst Christopher Larsen said. "It's a nice goal, but it's a little on the over ambitious side."

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