FCC: “We hereby decree, 100Mbps internet for all…”

Google may be the talk of the town with their proposed 1Gbps super-network, grabbing headlines for it’s crazy fast speeds and reported “competitive cost”, but the FCC would like to remind you that they aren’t just sitting idle while Google steps forward and does their job, making them look like the fat lazy kid in gym class. No sir.

In an effort to better the overall lives of US citizens, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski announced (Warning: PDF) plans to boost the speed of internet access within the US border to 100Mbps+. Such a move is long overdue according to many in the tech sector who site other developed countries such as Japan and Korea both as being close to or surpassing the 100Mbps mark. Considering we ourselves are a developed country, having to see/hear/read people calling 6Mbps “fast” or “high speed” is depressing. One nifty addition to the chairman’s announcement was his nod to Google, commended their 1 Gbps “super-network” ambitions.

Simply decreeing that it shall be done and actually getting it done are two different stories however. One of the biggest hurdles for a nation wide 100Mbps rollout will be hampered by old, aging technology — hardware and services alike. A fair amount of the country’s internet is provided via DSL/phone line services and hit’s it’s absolute max at a mere quarter of the FCC’s goals (25Mbps). Current DOCSIS 3.0 hardware in place that is capable of hitting 100Mbps is being limited to only half speed as well. Furthermore, getting that DOCSIS 3.0 hardware moving closer to the 100Mbps limit is going to take, yet again, more hardware upgrades — upgrades that don’t come quickly or cheaply.

100Mbps speeds will come at some point. It’s inevitable. While landline/fiber methods may linger for now, 4G/LTE/WiMax and emerging wireless technologies are making the expansion of high speed networks easier and faster. But as we wait until that speed filled day I can’t help but feel impatient. You know, I would like to enjoy 100Mbps+ internet speeds wherever I decide to call home and before I start counting my age with three digits.

Are you ready for 100Mbps internet?

Electronista