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Dewayne Hendricks

One Gigabit or Bust™ Initiative -- A Broadband Vision for California

It has been generally accepted that the United States has fallen behind other industrialized countries with regards to the adoption of broadband services. Recent estimates show penetration rates of only 35%, which compares quite poorly to countries such as South Korea, which has adoption rates exceeding 95%, with far greater average bandwidth rates being delivered at much lower costs. Other countries have adopted national broadband initiatives to bring high speed broadband connectivity to all its citizens such as the U.S.'s neighbor, Canada. The United States has no such initiative in place at the present time.

The State of California has decided to move ahead with its own broadband initiative. The that end it has tasked the Corporation for Educational Networking Initiatives (CENIC) to define and oversee a visionary broadband access goal for the state. CENIC's Gigabit or Bust™ Initiative (GBOB) addresses critical technical, policy, financial and organization challenges facing the delivery of one gigabit broadband to all Californians by 2010. The Gigabit or Bust™ Roundtable brings together the interests of research, education, commerce, state and local government and the general public to address the issues surrounding the implementation of robust end-to-end broadband capabilities to every education institution, business and home in California.

Providing the catalyst to businesses, government, community-based organizations, and educational institutions to cooperate and advance the state-of-the-art, CENIC’s focus on “first mile” solutions at one-Gigabit can provide the intellectual stimulation for dramatic strides in broadband deployment. With the range of geographical and economic issues within the state, effective learning can occur that will help other regions in the nation develop their own strategies for broadband deployment.

This talk will outline the goals and objectives of the GBOB initiative and report on its progress to date. The Initiative is in the process of implementing a number of pilot projects throughout the state, which will help to provide a concise roadmap as to how the goals of the initiative will be achieved, with an emphasis on the role of wireless technologies.

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