FCC Calls for Nationwide Gigabit Broadband */?> FCC Calls for Nationwide Gigabit Broadband

Posted by · January 22, 2013 10:06 am

FCCLast week the FCC issued the “Gigabit City Challenge,” soliciting the entire nation to establish gigabit Internet in at least one city per state within the next two years.

Gigabit is ultra-fast Internet, at least one gigabit per second, making it about 100 times faster than the current average high-speed Internet available in the US. As wireless Internet is referred to as WiFi after the Wi-Fi Alliance that supports, promotes, and certifies wireless capability, gigabit Internet has its own Wireless Gigabit Alliance, WiGig.

Growing prevalence of cloud-based services and the availability of streaming technology demands higher connection speeds for consumers. However, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in the press release that the call to action is also meant to provide the infrastructure for innovation in business and technology.

“The U.S. needs a critical mass of gigabit communities nationwide so that innovators can develop next-generation applications and services that will drive economic growth and global competitiveness,” said Genachowski.

Thus far only about 42 communities in 14 states are currently served with ultra-high-speed fiber Internet providers. In Chattanooga, Tennesee, fiber has been installed in 170,000 homes. As a result of the broadband availability, Amazon and Volkswagen created almost 4,000 new jobs for residents in that community.

“Networks cease to be hurdles to applications, so it no longer matters whether medical data, high-definition video, or online services are in the same building or miles away across the state,” reads the statement from the FCC.

In order to achieve the goal, the FCC will create an online clearinghouse of best practices as a resource of information and hold workshops for city leaders of communities that are ready to take on the challenge.  Additionally, the program incentivizes Internet providers to create the gigabit networks in the areas they serve.

Let’s all be glad the government is worried about the quality of our experience when we need to watch some Battlestar Galactica on Netflix.