As promised, the FCC has released its proposal for a National Broadband Plan that it will deliver to Congress tomorrow. In the six-page executive summary, it lays out ambitious goals that includes rewriting laws and policies that would enable more Americans to be connected to the internet — wired or wirelessly– at affordable prices and at high speeds.
Many of the plans will benefit wireless carriers, including AT&T (NYSE: T), Verizon Wireless, Sprint (NYSE: S) and T-Mobile USA. The FCC said it wants 500 MHz of spectrum to be available in 10 years with 300 MHz coming within five. It wants cell phone towers to be cheaper and more uniform to build so that investments go further and networks can be built faster. It is also looking to reallocate funds so that no states fall behind in the shift to 3G and 4G services.
While there was at least seven stated goals to the plan, the FCC recognized things could change. “The plan is in beta, and always will be. Like the Internet itself, the plan will always be changing — adjusting to new developments in technologies and markets, reflecting new realities and evolving to realize the unforeseen opportunities at a particular time.” A time table of its most pressing recommendations will come soon.
— Connect 100 million households to affordable 100-megabits-per-second service, building the world’s largest market of high-speed broadband users and ensuring that new jobs and businesses are created in America.
— Affordable access in every American community to ultra-high-speed broadband of at least 1 gigabit per second at anchor institutions such as schools, hospitals, and military installations so that America is hosting the experiments that produce tomorrow’s ideas and industries.
— Ensure that the United States is leading the world in mobile innovation by making 500 megahertz of spectrum newly available for licensed and unlicensed use.
— Move our adoption rates from roughly 65 percent to more than 90 percent and make sure that every child in America is digitally literate by the time he or she leaves high school.
— Bring affordable broadband to rural communities, schools, libraries, and vulnerable populations by transitioning existing Universal Service Fund support from yesterday