FCC pushes again for 100Mbps Internet, wants it by 2020

Remember last month when we told you about the Federal Communications Commission's vague plans to deliver 100Mbps broadband (over 20 times as fast as we have now) into American homes? Well, the FCC isn't letting the plan fall by the wayside.

The agency has released an executive summary ahead of its official presentation to congress, and right now the plan calls for a rather staggering sum (and it's just an estimate, mind you): $350 billion. Granted, relaying the infrastructure for the Information super highway is much like paving a real one, but a sum like that raises some ire.

"The devil is in the detail and right now it's all fairy wings and wishes," analyst Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group told the BBC. "The Republicans are going to fight anything that is excessively expensive while the Democrats have to be wary of looking like they are cutting cheques at a time when the government is for the most part broke."

The FCC has a few options beyond taxing the gravy out of the public, however. The agency could auction off some spectrum, dip into money from the 2009 stimulus or — probably one of the most logical courses of action — court investment from the professional sector, where cellular carriers and Internet service providers would greatly benefit from the speedier broadband.

Those companies are already sounding off, according to the BBC:

Ahead of today's meeting with Congress, a number of high tech companies wrote to FCC Chairman Genachowski to praise the plan.

"Broadband is critical to America's long-term economic and social well-being. As society increasingly moves online, the costs of digital exclusion grow as well," said the signatories of the letter which included Cisco, Sony, Salesforce, Microsoft, Facebook and Intel.

Will we have 100Mbps connection speeds by 2020, then? One can only hope, though, I have to say, I was kind of hoping to be living on Mars by then. I guess we're just not there yet.

Via BBC News