FCC to propose faster broadband speeds

Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:35pm EST
 
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By John Poirier

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission unveiled a plan on Tuesday that would require Internet providers to offer minimum home connection speeds by 2020, a proposal that some telecommunications companies panned as unrealistic.

The FCC wants service providers to offer home Internet data transmission speeds of 100 megabits per second (Mbps) to 100 million homes by a decade from now, Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski said.

Industry estimates generally put average U.S. Internet speeds at below 4 Mbps.

The proposal is part of the FCC's National Broadband Plan, due next month. It comes a week after Google Inc rattled Internet service providers with its plan to build a super-fast Internet network.

Some providers derided the FCC's plan.

"A 100 meg is just a dream," Qwest Communications International Inc Chief Executive Edward Mueller told Reuters. "We couldn't afford it."

"First, we don't think the customer wants that. Secondly, if (Google has) invented some technology, we'd love to partner with them," Mueller added.

AT&T, the top broadband provider among U.S. telecommunications carriers, said the FCC should resist calls for "extreme forms of regulation that would cripple, if not destroy, the very investments needed to realize its goal."   Continued...