US broadband update could cost third of a trillion dollars
Expanding the uptake of broadband in the US could cost up to $350bn
The FCC is devising a plan to increase the use of broadband across the US, especially in rural and deprived inner-city areas, as part of the government's stimulus package measures.
In a status report ahead of a final report due to be sent to Congress next February, an FCC task force said it estimates that the necessary investments could cost between $20bn and $350bn, depending on the speed of service.
The panel said most Americans have Internet access at home, one-third have access to broadband but have not subscribed, and another 4 per cent have no access. However, those who have broadband are receiving slower speeds than advertised, said the panel, with real download speeds estimated at 50 to 80 per cent lower than those advertised.
The panel said mobile broadband usage is straining wireless networks, driving demand for spectrum. It added that ti expected smartphone sales to outstrip those of standard mobile phones by 2001.