FCC shift may speed up Internet biz

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Mar 15, 2010
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FCC shift may speed up Internet biz

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Mar 15, 2010
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TEXT OF STORY

Kai Ryssdal: The Federal Communications Commission would like a few moments of your time to talk broadband, high speed Internet. Today the FCC released its 10 year proposal for dramatically increasing the speed of the Internet in this country, which is not as fast as you might think it is. The plan is sure to set off intense competition among the big telecommunications companies. It’s going to provide new opportunities for some hungry young upstarts, too. Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall Genzer reports.


NANCY MARSHALL GENZER: The FCC plan would boost Internet speeds 25 times. But to get there, the Internet’s backbone will need a major tweak. Companies that make the building blocks of the Web will be in great demand.

Paul Gallant is a telecom analyst at Concept Capital.

PAUL GALLANT: So the companies that build routers and switches and put up wireless towers around the country for mobile broadband. It’s really the infrastructure companies that are the clearest winners here.

Companies like Cisco. It’s already announced plans for a speedy new router. Google says it’ll build a super-fast Internet network. The FCC plan isn’t even out of the box and the competition is already fierce.

GARY ARLEN: This is going to be an incredible smackdown over the next few years.

Telecom analyst Gary Arlen heads Arlen Communications. He says Cisco and Google won’t be alone in the ring. The broadband plan could spawn new rivals. Think back 10 years.

ARLEN: You know, we thought that Yahoo and Altavista might be the great search engines that would dominate the industry and then along came this upstart named Google that we never heard of.

The FCC’s plan is meant to spark innovation.

Bruce Gottlieb is chief counsel to the FCC Chairman. He says the next Google could be, say a company that monitors people’s vital signs from home over the Internet.

BRUCE GOTTLIEB: Around high blood pressure, heart attacks, other things where detection is really essential. These are all technologies that companies are working on right now, but they depend on connectivity.

And a boost from a government plan for the Internet.

In Washington, I’m Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.

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