The U.S. Federal Communications Commission will seek to bring Internet speeds of 1 gigabit per second by 2020 to community institutions such as schools and government buildings, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said on Thursday.
The FCC's National Broadband Plan, to be released later this month, is also expected to free up airwaves for mobile broadband, seek to increase universal access and adoption of broadband, and create a nationwide public safety network.
Genachowski said the blueprint will set dramatic, bold goals to bring faster Internet speeds to American homes, including 100 megabits per second (Mbps) for 100 million U.S. households by 2020.
One gigabit per second is 1,000 Mbps. Industry estimates generally put average current U.S. Internet speeds at below 4 Mbps.
We're going to set goals around making sure that every community by 2020 has a 1 gigabit connection at an anchor institution like a school or a library or a healthcare facility, Genachowski said at an event to promote broadband use for small businesses.
His remarks, in line with goals set by President Barack Obama to increase affordable high-speed Internet access to all Americans, is the latest detail in the highly-anticipated FCC broadband plan.
In February, Google Inc said it plans to build a super-fast one gigabit Internet network for up to half a million people, that would run on fiber optic lines to homes.
Two weeks ago the FCC voted to expand a program that allows local communities to use their schools' Internet access during non-school hours, a move that could increase access to high-speed Internet.
(Reporting by John Poirier; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)