Originally published: October 28, 2010
Last updated: October 28, 2010 - 9:30pm
On May 28, Members of Congress wrote to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski raising concerns about the National Broadband Plan's impact on rural America.
Some feel the plan exacerbate a urban-rural digital divide since it sets as goals of broadband at 100 megabits per second (Mbps) for 100 million homes, but also moves to transition the universal service fund to support broadband offerings at 4 Mbps. The practical impact is two very different goals for rural regions and more densely populated areas. Establishing such a low threshold for rural residents and businesses has the potential to hinder their ability to share in the transformative vision for broadband outlined in the plan. Further, it could impair the ability of telecommunications carriers to make investments necessary to deploy broadband services in our most rural areas.
On October 13, Chairman Genachowski replied with the reasoning behind the 4 Mbps goal which, he says, "represents one of the highest levels in the world today for universalization." Cost is a major factor. Subsidizing universal 100 Mbps deployment today could cost as much as $320 billion, which could increase the size of the universal service fund to $40-50 billion annually, and lead to a universal service fee. on average, of $30 per month per American household.
- National Broadband Plan will hurt rural America, 40 House members say
- FCC broadband plan will put US in "second tier of countries"
- Boucher, Genachowski Compare Speed Goals for Broadband Plan
- The Problem With FCC's 4Mbps/1Mbps Universal Broadband Goal
- FCC plan 'relegates' rural areas to 'second class'
- Thune and Genachowski Exchange Commitments to Serving Rural Areas
- FCC seeking 1 gigabit Internet speed for communities
- FCC to endorse broadband goals, but not vote on plan
- Rural Providers Seek to Change Goals in National Broadband Plan, USF Reform
- OPASTCO members unmoved by Genachowski address
- Broadband plan stirs praise, then criticism at the FCC
- FCC Sends National Broadband Plan to Congress
- Chairman Genachowski's Response to Members of Congress Regarding Mobile Broadband Opportunities in Television Broadcast Bands
- Is the FCC planning to propose some new broadband math?
- New Survey Calls Government Broadband Goals Wimpy