Communities hoping for faster Internet - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Communities hoping for faster Internet

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IOWA CITY (KWWL)-  According to a recent study conducted by the Federal Communication Commission, 100 million Americans are without access to a broadband connection.

The new plan released Tuesday, hopes to get Americans up to speed among the world's elite.

Many believe the United States has fallen behind in its ability to provide access to high speed Internet connections

"We typically relative to world standards have been a bit lagging. Usually you think the United State would be in the top two or three folks in broadband distribution and around the globe and we're not," said Dave Lunemann, Vice President of client services with Fiber Utilities Group in Cedar Rapids.

THE $20 billion plan calls for 90 percent of American households to have Internet connections of 100 megabits per second over the next 10 years

Faster connections can help improve health care and public safety services and spur economic growth.

"If you're going to compete in the global economy you need to have this technology much more pervasive than we do today," Lunemann said.

Parts of Johnson County may get a taste of lighting fast connection speeds a lot sooner.

Four communities have joined together to nominate the Iowa City area for an experimental Google broadband service.

Google is looking for test towns to lay its fiber optic network that will bring Internet speeds of more than 1 gigabit per second.

"I think it would be helpful on many levels. It would certainly provide the infrastructure that would be beneficial to businesses and individuals, but it would also be a way for the country to see Iowa City showcased in a way that it may not have been previously," said Nancy Quellhorst, president of the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce.

It's all an effort to lay the ground work to meet one of the great challenges of the early 21st century.

Online Reporter:  Jason Epner

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