Senators grill FCC Chairman over 'modest' National Broadband Plan goals

Bringing broadband to everybody is certainly an admirable goal, but at least some US Senators are apparently starting to question if the new National Broadband Plan is ambitious enough. In written questions submitted to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski recently, Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) pointed out that other nations already have 100Mbps fiber-based services and are beginning to roll out 1Gbps residential services, which would only be required for a "single anchor institution in each community by 2020" under the National Broadband Plan" -- something Inouye says "appears to suggest that the US should accept a 10- to 12-year lag behind the leading nations." That's a sentiment echoed by Senator Mark Begich (D-AK), who asked Genachowski why the plan settled for the minimum download speed of 4Mbps by 2020, and added that "it seems a bit modest for a goal." For his part, Genachowski insists that the 4Mbps targets are "aggressive," and he notes that the plan recommends reevaluating that target every year, so it's possible it could increase over time. Hit up the PDF link below for the complete Q&A.