Despite inventing the Internet, the United States has fallen behind when it comes to implementation and use of broadband, making the nation far from the leading countries in high-speed Internet adoption, according to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski.
In a column in The Washington Post, Genachowski wrote Sunday how universally deployed broadband networks could create more jobs, boost economic growth and improve and save in education, healthcare and energy conservation.
“Our nation is at a high-tech crossroads: Either we commit to creating world-leading broadband networks to make sure that the next waves of innovation and business growth occur here, or we stand pat and watch inventions and jobs migrate to those parts of the world with better, faster and cheaper communications infrastructures,” Genachowski wrote.
According to Genachowski, millions of Americans currently do not have broadband, something he deemed “unacceptable.” Tens of millions of Americans with access to broadband have not signed up because they do not how to use it or are unaware of its potential benefits. The vast majority do not have broadband that is fast enough to take advantage of remote video learning or medical diagnostics, or dozens of other existing and emerging applications, according to Genachowski.
The FCC chairman outlined four steps to solve the problem: Give access to all essential broadband serves at home; substantially increase the capabilities of the networks; lead the world in the speed and reach of U.S. mobile networks; and provide every first responder with access to a nationwide, wireless, interoperable broadband public-safety network.
“With smart policies, we can enable and accelerate the private investment necessary to achieve this future,” Genachowski wrote. “If we have the political will, we can reclaim the licensed and unlicensed spectrum our wireless networks need to thrive.”