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FCC's Gigabit City programme aims to bring 1Gbit/s services to every state

19 Jan 2013
Federal Communications Commission emblem

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has kicked off a programme which seeks to develop high-speed network infrastructure throughout the US.

Dubbed the "Gigabit City Challenge," the programme calls for every state in the US to develop at least one community with 1Gbit/s internet connections. The programme would build out gigabit internet connections to business communities around the nation.

The FCC hopes that the effort will foster business growth by bringing high-speed access to areas which had not traditionally been able to offer such access.

"American economic history teaches a clear lesson about infrastructure. If we build it, innovation will come," said FCC chairman Julius Genachowski.

"The US 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."

The plan calls for state and city governments to work with local service providers to install and maintain the high-speed networks. Currently, the FCC estimates that gigabit service availability is limited to just 42 communities in only 14 of 50 US states.

Building out national network infrastructure has been a central theme of US communications policy under the Obama administration. The country has long sought to extend broadband services into underserved rural communiies and economically depressed areas.

Similar efforts have been launched in the UK in recent years. Nationally the government has outlined a plan to develop 14 cities into high-speed internet hubs.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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