FCC broadband plan includes more auction power

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The Federal Communications Commission on Monday released a set of goals to modernize high-speed Internet access for Americans, including plans to free up more airwaves for mobile services.

The plan aims to have 100 million American households get Internet speeds of 100 megabits per second (Mbps) by 2020, compared with the current average speed of less than 4 Mbps.

In the report called Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan, the agency says it is seeking expanded authority to hold auctions that would provide incentives for broadcasters to give up some of their airwaves for purchase by wireless companies.

The FCC said it would leave open the possibility of taking action if broadcasters do not voluntarily give up spectrum.

The broadband plan of over 350 pages was released ahead of a meeting by the FCC on Tuesday, where the five commissioners are due to vote on issuing a summary of the plan.

Congress, which asked the FCC to make recommendations on the status of broadband in the United States, will be formally presented with the plan on Tuesday, the FCC said.

(Reporting by John Poirier; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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