FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced his ‘100 squared’ initiative at a speech delivered to the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) today. The ‘100 squared’ concept aims to deliver broadband capable of 100 Mbps to 100 million homes by 2020. The goal may become a formal one, as the FCC is due to deliver a national broadband plan by mid March. Genachowski says 100 squared will “unleash American ingenuity and ensure that businesses, large and small, are created here, move here, and stay here.”
While the goal seems lofty when first read, it actually may not be that hard to achieve. That’s because the key word is capable. By that measure, any home in America that is passed by FTTH or DOCSIS 3.0 (D3) meets the goal. Genachowski’s goal doesn’t say the 100 Mbps has to actually be delivered. In fact, we as a nation may already be half way there. When you add all homes passed by FTTH and D3 today, you’re already at 50 million+.
The real issue is where are those current 100 Mbps capable households? They are not evenly distributed across the country in both urban and rural territories. They are clustered in urban markets served by Verizon, Comcast and other national (and in some cases regional) players. There are exceptions of course. We highlighted D3 activity in rural markets a couple weeks back, and FTTH deployments are in full swing among many independent telcos. But hopefully this lofty goal (and the national broadband plan that fulfills it) will find ways to ensure all types of communities, economic backgrounds, and demographics are included in the 100 Mbps broadband race.
5 thoughts on “FCC Wants 100 Mbps Broadband to 100 Million Homes”
These speed questions are silly. The real issue is affordability – are consumers willing and able to pay for these speeds. Not.
The real underlying question here isnt if its possible… Its why? There is NO need for such speeds at residential sites. 5 – 10Mbs is more then anyone really needs…. Why 100? What is the purpose why do they need such bandwidth? The consumer doenst need it and the providers surely dont want to have to quadruple there backbone connections to support it… Atleast I dont!
Does it sound good??? YES!! Does it make since… NO!!! Lets spend billions of dollars to make sure EVERYONE in the US can download movies, porn and play games as fast as anybody on the planet!! Yeah! That will make America great!!
Businesses already have access to these speeds…. If you really want to make a difference on both sides you need to reduce the midle mile costs and then the consumer will see reduced pricing!! Thats what they want! Not more speed… Cheaper service!
This discussion reflects a scattered approach by the FCC. One time they're talking about accessibility, another time about affordability, then educating the uninterested, then speed.
The reason for the 100 or even 1G/bit for the premise will all be driven by video, over the next 25 years the bandwidth to watch the new 2D video standards, Super HD 2160P will consume 50M/bps for 1 channel, Ultra HD 4320P will consume 200M/bps for 1 Channel.
Now bring in 3D video and the 100M/bps is not an option, we now need to look at Gigabit bandwidth to deliver 1 3D channel to anyones home. This is what scares the Cable Co/MSO and the Carriers. We in the BB market all now know that Fiber Optic Access Networks have to be built like the PSTN, the Local Loop has to be P2P, not shared bandwidth and be fiber optic based to allow for those who want these new services.
Granted, 100M is overkill right now in 99.9% of situations, however 10 Mbps is not. Sure, you can do 95% of everything on the Internet witha 3 Mbps down, 768 kbps up connection. However you don't want to wait on uploads/downloads (mostly uploads, for photos and such) because your conection is "good enough." I have 12/2 internet right now and will upgrade to 20/4 when Comcast makes it available at $10 above my current tier. If 35 Mbps symmetric internet was available I'd pay $25 more for it than I'm paying now because it'll save me that much in time doing the stuff I do (shuttling PDFs and TIF scan images around for my college newspaper, uploading photos and video, etc.)
The other thing is that it's a lot better business proposition to raise speeds than lower prices. Lower prices = lower precedents for prices. Personally $40-$50 should be where the standard broadband tier should stay, with higher speed options available at a reasonable extra charge for those who want them…don't diss high speeds just because what you have is "good enough" for you at this point. I have the option of sharing a 4.2/700 DSL connection without paying any money but I pay for 'net access…as the DSL companies can tell you, bottom-line dollars aren't everything.