Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]
The FCC does not see the lack of broadband access in the United States as a problem, to the contrary “a digital divide is an opportunity divide,” said the FCC chairman Julius Genachowski.
Some 93 million Americans lack access to broadband internet connections putting them far behind their peers in information, technology, and ability to compete in the workplace. Usable internet is no longer a privilege, it’s an integral part of modern life.
If you do not have a decent connection, you risk being too far behind to catch up.
While details are scarce at the moment, on March 17th the FCC will be releasing its new broadband plan to Congress. Whether it is ever enacted and then acted upon remains to be seen, but the FCC does realize the severity of nearly one-third of Americans lacking access to an acceptable internet connection.
That said, one point of the plan that has been discussed is the idea of 100 megabit connections in 2020. That would be a sharp rise from the current 4 megabit broadband norm.
Over a ten-year period, that would be an average of a 9.6 megabits rise in average speed every year until 2020. Will it happen? We can only hope. The United States has long lagged other developed countries in average internet speed and pervasiveness.
Given the current endemic budget crisis around the United States at all levels of government, it is unknown what level of funding the FCC will be able to secure for its broadband visions.
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