Last updated: March 15, 2010 - 9:23am
Recognizing that high-speed Internet has joined telephone service and electricity as essential tools of modern life, the federal government will unveil an ambitious blueprint this week to extend broadband to virtually all Americans.
Crafted by the Federal Communications Commission over the past year, the national broadband plan is expected to set the federal government's high-tech agenda on a variety of fronts, with far-reaching implications for Silicon Valley. At its core, the plan, which will be released Tuesday, will propose ways to close the long-standing digital divide by bringing broadband into 90 percent of American homes by 2020. For those with broadband already, the plan will target vastly increased speeds for wired and wireless service, fostering the already-booming market for Web-based video and other high-bandwidth applications. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said the plan could spur advancements in telemedicine, education and energy efficiency through a Web-enabled smart grid.
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