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FCC: Gigabit Communities in Every State by 2015

Gigabit City Challenge: A Bold Initiative Short on Details


FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski called for at least one gigabit community in all 50 states within the next 3 years. The FCC's “Gigabit City Challenge” makes establishing gigabit communities nationwide a priority of the agency. The FCC initiative will accelerate the growth of ultra-high speed broadband networks nationally.

According to Chairman Genachowski: “American economic history teaches a clear lesson about infrastructure. If we build it, innovation will come. The U.S. needs a critical mass of gigabit communities nationwide so that innovators can develop next-generation applications and services that will drive economic growth and global competitiveness.”

At 1000 Mb per second, Google Fiber is 100 times faster than today’s average Internet, allowing you to get what you want instantaneously. You no longer have to wait on things buffering; everything will be ready to go when you are. At gigabit speeds, connections can handle multiple streams of large-format, high-definition content like online video calls, movies, and rich educational experiences. Networks cease to be hurdles to applications, so it no longer matters whether medical data, high-definition video, or online services are in the same building or miles away across the state.So whether you are video chatting, uploading family videos, or playing your favorite online games, all you need to do is click and you’re there.

Google has already made building gigabit communities a priority by its deployment of a gigabit network in Kansas City.

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Google is offering three plans: a "double-play" high speed plan offering Digital TV and Gigabit Internet Service for $120 per month, Gigabit Internet Access only for $70 per month, or "average" Internet service for absolutely nothing - guaranteed for seven years. A one-time "construction fee" of $300 is waived if subscribing to either of the high-speed Internet or Digital TV/Internet plans. The free service requires payment of the $300 fee - paid at installation, or in equal installments over a year.

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Google designed the network so users receive "Gigabit Symmetric Fiber Connectivity," which is another Google term to refer to identical download and upload speeds. Most broadband providers advertise their highest download speeds, which are often much higher than the advertised upload speeds. The reason for this is because most users use broadband to download data, which includes music and video downloads, as well as loading webpages for viewing. Google apparently wants to stay true to their word by offering a truly non-traditional broadband Internet service offering.

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Gigabit communities spur innovators to create new businesses and industries, spark connectivity among citizens and services, and spur the investment in high-tech industries. Today, approximately 42 communities in 14 states are served by ultra-high-speed fiber Internet providers, according to the Fiber to the Home Council.

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To help communities meet the Gigabit City Challenge, Chairman Genachowski announced plans to create a new online clearinghouse of best practices to collect and disseminate information about how to lower the costs and increase the speed of broadband deployment nationwide, including to create gigabit communities. At the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting, Chairman Genachowski proposed working jointly with the U.S. Conference of Mayors on the best-practices clearinghouse effort.

Communities across the country are already taking action to seize the opportunities of gigabit broadband for their local economies and bring superfast broadband to homes. In Chattanooga, Tennessee, a local utility deployed a fiber network to 170,000 homes. Thanks to the city’s investment in broadband infrastructure, companies like Volkswagen and Amazon have created more than 3,700 new jobs over the past three years in Chattanooga. In Kansas City, the Google Fiber initiative is bringing gigabit service to residential consumers, attracting new entrepreneurs and startups to the community. The Gig.U initiative has already catalyzed $200 million in private investment to build ultra-high-speed hubs in the communities of many leading research universities, including a recent joint venture with the University of Washington and a private ISP to deliver gigabit service to a dozen area neighborhoods in Seattle. The Gigabit City Challenge is designed to drive a critical mass of gigabit communities like these, creating new markets for 21st century services, promoting competition, spurring innovation, and driving economic growth nationwide.

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