During a speech on Tuesday at the winter meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski offered a preview of the national broadband plan, which will include a “100 squared” strategy for extending broadband service speeds of 100 Mbps to at least 100 million U.S. households. By March 17, the FCC is required to deliver to Congress its national broadband plan which, according to Genachowski, will include a “comprehensive set of recommendations” that will cover, among other things, improvement of broadband availability to schools and libraries, modernization of the government’s rural telemedicine program, establishment of public-private partnerships to boost broadband adoption, and acceleration of the “smart grid” through the deployment of broadband. Genachowski also said the plan will call for a “once-in-a-generation transformation” of the Universal Service Fund to encompass broadband services. Most U.S. Internet service providers offer speeds of between 3 and 10 Mbps, with 50 Mbps considered to be representative of premium high-speed services that are sold by cable broadband operators at an average rate of $100 per month. The FCC also estimated last fall that upgrades to U.S. network infrastructure needed to support broadband speeds of 100 Mbps would cost upwards of $350 billion. Asserting that “the U.S. should lead the world in ultra-high-speed broadband test beds as fast, or faster, than anywhere in the world,” Genachowski predicted that the “100 squared” plan and other recommended broadband strategies could catapult the U.S. into the position of “the world’s largest market of very high-speed broadband users.” Genachowski also said the plan would aim for a national broadband adoption rate of 90%, as he added that the current national uptake rate of 65% compares unfavorably to nations, such as Singapore and South Korea, that boast national adoption rates in excess of 88%. AT&T pointed to the estimated $350 billion price tag in cautioning the FCC to “resist calls for extreme forms of regulation that would cripple, if not destroy, the very investments needed to realize its goal.”