US pumps billions into broadband plan
The US Government has announced a new national broadband plan to roll out 100Mbits/sec internet by 2020.
More than 100 million people – a third of the country – don’t have broadband access, and the Government argues that the importance of high-speed internet for business, education, public services and government engagement meant it’s important to bring broadband to the whole population.
“Broadband is the great infrastructure challenge of our time,” said the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which published the report after Congress commissioned it to develop a broadband rollout plan. “Like electricity a century ago, broadband is a foundation for economic growth, job creation, global competitiveness and a better way of life.”
As well as partitioning and selling off wireless spectrum to private companies, the Government will pump $6.5 billion into the scheme, which will see the strengthening of several public service networks as well as the high-speed internet rollout. A total of 500MHz of wireless spectrum is to be freed up and auctioned off.
In comparison, the Labour Government has called for an additional ‘broadband tax’ to fund super-fast internet development in the UK, while the Conservatives are instead focusing on obtaining private investment for their plans to bring 100Mbits/sec to the UK by 2017.
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