According to this Wall Street Journal blog post, the FCC is considering setting an average speed of 2-4 mbs for it plans for improved broadband coverage plan that will be released soon. While this is a much better target than the previous 200 kbs figure the FCC had previously defined as broadband, it still seems terribly shortsighted and will leave us continually trying to play catch up with the rest of the developed world.
Of course, deploying higher speeds will be more expensive, but here is the key sentence in this article:
Providing universal broadband access at 3 mbps would cost about $20 billion, the FCC estimates. The price tag for 50 mbps service across the U.S. would cost more than $50 billion.
That means for an increase of 2.5 times the cost we would get more than 15 times the speed! And while 3 mbps might be adequate for most users today, if you are building an infrastructure for the future 50 mpbs may not even a high enough target. Let’s make a real investment in the future and get a robust data delivery system. Given what the short life of the Internet has already unleashed, there is just no telling what fantastic new products and services will arise from all corners of the country. Even the rural ones.