Setting some ambitious goals in a National Broadband Plan

One of Google's top policy priorities is spurring the availability and uptake of affordable, open broadband Internet service. The Internet may have been invented in the United States, but unfortunately in too many places we continue to lag behind Asia and Europe when it comes to broadband speed, penetration, and adoption.

We've been working closely with FCC staff over the past several months as they prepare to deliver a National Broadband Plan to Congress in February, and to date they've shown a strong commitment to providing the best possible blueprint for action.

As we explained in our initial comments, we think it's essential that in addition to instituting some constructive near-term solutions, the plan also should include some explicit, ambitious – and ultimately achievable – longer term goals for bringing ultra-high broadband speeds to all Americans. Those goals should be supported by our country's best thinking about various potential pathways to achieving them.

Today, in a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, House Communications Subcommittee Chairman Rick Boucher called on the Commission to commit to specific "stretch" goals as part of its overall plan – and we agree. Without including in the plan some future-focused benchmarks for speed and service, our nation risks losing the opportunity to make robust, nationwide broadband access a reality for American consumers.

Affordable, high-speed Internet access can drive economic growth, job creation, and education. We should not be satisfied with shorter-term fixes alone that likely will still leave us lagging behind the rest of the industrialized world.