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Broadband

All Americans should have affordable access to robust and reliable broadband products and services. Regulatory policies must promote technological neutrality, competition, investment, and innovation to ensure that broadband service providers have sufficient incentive to develop and offer such products and services.


Description

The term “broadband” refers to advanced communications systems capable of providing high-speed transmission of services such as data, voice, and video over the Internet and other networks. Transmission is provided by a wide range of technologies, including digital subscriber line and fiber optic cable, coaxial cable, wireless technology, and satellite. Broadband platforms make possible the convergence of voice, video, and data services onto a single network.


Impact

Broadband technology is a key driver of economic growth. The ability to share large amounts of information at ever-greater speeds increases productivity, facilitates commerce, and drives innovation. Broadband is changing how we communicate with each other, how and where we work, how we educate our children, and how we entertain ourselves. Broadband is particularly critical in rural areas, where advanced communications can shrink the distances that isolate remote communities.


Objectives

Congress recognized the importance of broadband in Section 706 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which directs the FCC to “encourage the deployment on a reasonable and timely basis of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans.” The Commission’s goals are to:

  • Broaden the deployment of broadband technologies

  • Define broadband to include any platform capable of transmitting high-bandwidth intensive services

  • Ensure harmonized regulatory treatment of competing broadband services

  • Encourage and facilitate an environment that stimulates investment and innovation in broadband technologies and services.



last reviewed/updated on July 21, 2010  


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