by Karl Bode
Back in 2013, then FCC boss Julius Genachowski issued a “1 Gbps challenge”: basically a pledge to ensure there was at least one gigabit network operating in all fifty states by 2015. As we noted at the time it was kind of a show pony goal; notorious fence-sitter Genachowski was simply setting a goal he knew the industry would probably meet with or without’s government help, so that government could come in at a later date and insist it played an integral role.
Well, 2015 has come and gone, and while there is at least one gigabit network planned for every state, we narrowly missed Genochowski’s goal by most estimates:
We combed through our archives and other online resources and, by our tally, at least one network operator has announced plans to offer gigabit service in every state. Not all of these networks are actually deployed or supporting service yet. But generally network operators don’t announce specific markets more than a year or two in advance of when they expect to deliver service.
None of this is to denegrate the progress made on the gigabit front. Google Fiber, municipal broadband, and scattered telco gigabit deployments (even if many were fiber to the press release) all saw great progress in 2015. And while gigabit availability remains rare, countless cable operators began laying the groundwork for DOCSIS 3.1 upgrades that should deliver gigabit speeds to millions of cable customers sometime this year.