FCC Introduces Sweeping National Broaband Plan

Udated March 17, 2010.

On Tuesday March 16, 2010 the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a proposal to overhaul the U.S. broadband* policy by introducing a plan that would provide higher speed internet access and much faster internet connections thoughout the U.S. than are presently available. The plan sets a goal of connecting 100 million U.S. households to broadband connections of 100 megabits per secondf, at least 20 times faster than most home connections now, by 2020.

The plan also calls for every american conmunity to have at least one “anchor” institution, such as a school, library, or hospital that has ultra high speed internet access. The FCC defines ultra high speed in this eontext as at least a gigabit per second, 10 times faster than the 100 megabit per second envisioned for home connections.

This is a very ambitious initiative whch will almost certainly have a significant impact on the development of library services in the years ahead. All of this bears close watching.

Those who wish to have a more comprehensive overview of the National Broadban Plan should click on the links below to see the Joint Statement on Broadband Policy prepared by the Federal Communications Commission, the Executive Summary prepared by the Federal Communications Commission, or a link to all Chapters of the National Broadband Plan as proposed by the FCC:

Statement on Broadband Policy prepared by FCC

Federal Communications Commission National Broadband Plan, Executive Summary

All Chapters of the Federal Communications Commission National Broadband Plan

_________________________________ * Broadband is a high-speed network connection that makes video delivery possible. Broadband can carry data, voice, TV and video simultaneously over long distances at much higher speeds and in greater quantities than a conventional telephone line. The FCC defines broadband service as data transmission speeds exceeding 200 kilobits per second (Kbps), or 200,000 bits per second, in at least one direction: downstream (from the Internet to the user’s computer) or upstream (from the user’s computer to the Internet).

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