FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski told attendees at the US Conference of Mayors on Friday that his agency expects at least one gigabit community per state by the end of 2015. Genachowski called for the communities to be fashioned after the Google fiber project that recently launched in Kansas City.
Genachowski says “establishing gigabit communities nationwide will accelerate the creation of a critical mass of markets and innovation hubs.”
Fiber optic internet providers currently service 42 communities in just 14 states. However, most of those networks operate well below gigabit speeds.
Genachowski hopes the FCC can help accelerate the gigabit network model. The FCC Chairman announced plans to create a new online and publicly accessible clearinghouse to collect and disseminate information about how to reduce costs and increase speed of broadband deployment on a national level.
A recent report put the cost of Google creating a nationwide gigabit network at more than $50 billion. With such a massive infrastructure cost, it is not likely that one company will step up to build such a massive network. Instead, the FCC believes that smaller regionalized networks could be constructed to meet consumer needs.
In the meantime, technology firms would greatly benefit from better internet deployment. For example, the more time users spend on competent connections, the more money Google can earn from search traffic. In fact, it is Google’s want for faster internet speeds that led the company to launch and begin testing its new gigabit communities.
In the interim, some companies have begun replacing old damaged copper lines with fiber optic cables. However, that process will take many years to complete.