Remember last week when Google announced plans to launch testbeds with 1 Gbps downstream bandwidth? A lot of us thought that Google didn’t want to be an ISP, but wanted to put the pressure on other players in the internet service game. Guess what? We were right.
Today FCC chairman Julius Genachowski has proposed the “100 Squared Initiative,” a plan to provide 100 million American households with 100 Mbps downstream internet connections.
In his commentary, Mr. Genachowski had nothing but good things to say about Google. It seems that Google’s proposition to bring to the world the fastest broadband ever made the FCC realize that we can go a lot further than the puny 5 Mbps or so proposed under various broadband stimulus legislation.
The real question is how the FCC plans to roll out these high-speed connections. Unless the government is just sitting on top of a surplus of cash (fun fact: it’s not), these 100 Mbps connections will require a lot of help from existing ISPs, and they don’t exactly want to be tasked with laying new infrastructure. Right now, Americans can get at most 50 Mbps downstream commercially, and that’s only from the kindest of FIOS providers.