A National Commitment to Remain Competitive

Wow, look’s like they may have had some help from Jon Favreau (President Obama’s speechwriter) on the introduction to America’s new National Broadband Plan entitled “Connecting America”. Here’s the opening lines of the introduction;

Broadband is the great infrastructure challenge of the early
21st century.
Like electricity a century ago, broadband is a foundation
for economic growth, job creation, global competitiveness and
a better way of life. It is enabling entire new industries and
unlocking vast new possibilities for existing ones. It is changing
how we educate children, deliver health care, manage energy,
ensure public safety, engage government, and access, organize
and disseminate knowledge.

Dramatic and true. Broadband will be the critical infrastructure of the 21st century, so the Americans have committed to a plan with specific goals. Here’s the first stated objective:

Goal No. 1: At least 100 million U.S. homes should have
affordable access to actual download speeds of at least 100
megabits per second and actual upload speeds of at least 50
megabits per second.

To put this in perspective most (about 95%) of Canadian homes and businesses have average download speeds of 2 to 3 megabits per second and upload speeds of .75 (yes that’s a number less than 1) megabits per second.

The second stated objective is interesting and laudable as well;

Goal No. 2: The United States should lead the world in
mobile innovation, with the fastest and most extensive
wireless networks of any nation.

The entire document Connecting America; the National Broadband Plan is available here: http://www.broadband.gov/download-plan/

The Federal Conservatives Environment Minister, Jim Prentice, has indicated that rather than form our own made in Canada environmental policy that Canadian environmental policy will mirror US environmental policy. Maybe they’re on to something that could improve our broadband infrastructure as well.

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