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FCC Delivers National Broadband Plan To Congress


The Federal Communications Commission delivered its National Broadband Plan to Congress on Tuesday, setting an ambitious agenda to connect all corners of the nation and transform the economy and society with the communications network of the future.

The plan is designed to help increase the number of Americans who can connect to the Internet using some form of broadband service over the next decade. One of its goals is to connect 100 million households to 100-megabits-per-second service.

Additionally, the plan will grant communities around the U.S. access to high-speed broadband of at least 1 gigabit per second at anchor institutions such as schools, hospitals and military installations.

Further, it will make 500 megahertz of spectrum newly available for licensed and unlicensed use, as well as move adoption rates from roughly 65% to more than 90%.

"The National Broadband Plan is a 21st century roadmap to spur economic growth and," said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

He added, "It's an action plan, and action is necessary to meet the challenges of global competitiveness, and harness the power of broadband to help address so many vital national issues."

House Energy and Commerce Commission Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said that Genachowski and the FCC are "to be commended for producing this comprehensive and forward-looking report that touches on so many aspects of American society."

"The Plan will be a critically important tool as Congress looks to the challenge of utilizing fully the transformative power of broadband," he added. "I look forward to exploring the recommendations in more detail and in the bipartisan manner we have traditionally addressed communications and technology issues."

Waxman said the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet would hold its first hearing on the National Broadband Plan on Thursday, March 25.

Meanwhile, Senator John Kerry, D-Mass., called the plan "a roadmap to an America with the most robust, accessible broadband infrastructure in the world."

"It establishes a bold national goal and a date for reaching it," he added. "This plan, however, is not self-executing. It will require bipartisan support and long term commitment to implement."

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