Telecoms industry raises concerns over FCC US broadband plan

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) National Broadband Plan has had a mixed reception, according to US reports.

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) National Broadband Plan has had a mixed reception, according to US reports.

The FCC has described the newly published plan submitted to Congress as a much-needed step for keeping the US competitive.

The plan envisages affordable access to 100Mbps broadband for 90% of the US population, with schools, hospitals and army bases getting 1Gbps.

The plan, which includes proposals to allot more wireless spectrum for mobile devices and redirect some subsidies toward broadband access, is the strongest initiative to date by US regulators to encourage widespread adoption of high-speed broadband.

US President Barack Obama said the plan recalled the way "past generations of Americans met the great infrastructure challenges of the day, such as building the transcontinental railroad".

But telecommunications companies have raised concerns that the proposed regulations might impede rather than encourage the expansion of internet access and expressed concern about the legal battles that may arise over spectrum.

Industry analysts said the FCC plan is too ambitious and not detailed enough, while consumer groups said the proposals alone will not be enough to enable affordable broadband at adequate speeds.

Government's ability to influence access speeds is limited and some aspects of the FCC plan will take years to put into place and will require Congressional action, the analysts said.

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