Almost a year after the FCC first announced their National Broadband Plan, some new details have started to emerge. Specifically: A "100 Squared" plan to give 100 million households 100Mbps broadband. Just for starters.
Of course, there's only so much of that process that's actually in the FCC's control, which is why the agency's chairman gave Google a shout out in his presentation for their plan to deploy 1Gbps fiber internet to 500,000 lucky souls. But there are some steps the FCC can and will take to encourage broader, faster broadband adoption:
· A recommendation for improving the highly successful E-Rate program — which made Internet connections in America's classrooms and libraries a reality — so that kids and teachers can have a 21st century educational experience that is the envy of the world.
· A recommendation to modernize the FCC's rural telemedicine program to connect thousands of additional clinics and break down bureaucratic barriers to a telehealth future.
· A recommendation to take the steps necessary to deploy broadband to accelerate a smart grid.
· A recommendation to develop public/private partnerships to increase Internet adoption, and ensure that all children can use the Internet proficiently and safely — with programs like NCTA's new A+ program playing a helpful role.
· A recommendation to free up a significant amount of spectrum in the years ahead for ample licensed and unlicensed use.
· A recommendation for lowering the cost of broadband build-out — wired and wireless — through the smart use of government rights of way and conduits.
· A recommendation for creating an interoperable public safety network to replace the currently broken system.
If that seems general and vague and imprecise, well, that's because it is. Getting US broadband up to speed is going to be a huge undertaking, and it's not going to happen any time soon. But just seeing the intent there is an incredibly important first step. Now it's a matter of implementation. [FCC via Electronista]