Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski took broadband providers to task today, calling for gigabit internet speeds across the country by 2015.
Genachowski's challenge to broadband providers is ambitious but not unreasonable as he and the commission hope to create at least one community with gigabit internet access in each of the 50 states.
"American economic history teaches a clear lesson about infrastructure. If we build it, innovation will come," Genachowski said.
"The U.S. 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."
Ultra-fast broadband slowly catching on
Google has already gotten ahead of the game on gigabit internet, laying down a Fiber network in Missouri and Kansas offering speeds reportedly 100 times faster than a standard broadband connection.
The company plans to greatly expand the Google Fiber network, and is investigating new areas for coverage, but there more than just Google will need to be on board to reach the FCC's 2015 goal.
The FCC noted that there are currently 42 communities in 14 states that support ultra-high-speed networks, including a local utilities company in Chattanooga, Tenn. serving 170,000 homes.
A proposed plan in Seattle will also bring gigabit internet to the University of Washington and surrounding area neighborhoods in the near future.
However, the big names in broadband have been slower to adopt fiber optic broadband networks, or at least much quieter about any attempts to do so.
Genachowski said that he hopes that the FCC's Gigabit City Challenge will help to change that, sparking a greater push toward ultra-high-speed networks and collaboration between internet providers and local city governments.