We've known some of the major details about the FCC's sweeping National Broadband Plan—namely 100Mbps broadband in 100 million homes—for a while now, but today they've made it official. It's a sweeping proposal, with six main long-term goals:
Goal No. 1: At least 100 million US homes should have affordable access to actual download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second and actual upload speeds of at least 50 megabits per second.
Goal No. 2: The United States should lead the world in mobile innovation, with the fastest and most extensive wireless networks of any nation.
Goal No. 3: Every American should have an affordable access to robust broadband service, and the means and skills to subscribe if they so choose.
Goal No. 4: Every American community should have affordable access to at least 1 gigabit per second broadband service to anchor institutions such as schools, hospitals and government buildings.
Goal No. 5: To ensure the safety of the American people, every first responder should have access to a nationwide, wireless, interoperable broadband public safety network.
Goal No. 6: To ensure that America leads in the clean energy economy, every American should be able to use broadband to track and manage their real-time energy consumption.
To which I say: great! Now how exactly do we go about doing that? As the executive summary to the plan itself says, it's in beta and always will be. Which means that there's no fixed timeline, and everything's subject to change. So don't get too attached to that superfast hospital broadband just yet.
The FCC should be able to get some government funding behind many of these (particularly putting 1Gps broadband in schools, hospitals, and so on), but making sure we remain a leader in mobile innovation is going to be largely in the industry's court. [FCC via Engadget]