Cisco's new router gets praise from the feds

AT&T said using the new router allowed its long distance internet backbone to carry data traffic at 100 gigabits per second. That speed is comparable to what Google's much-lauded trial networks promise to provide.

But since Cisco's routers, which are used to power the internet backbone, is shared by multiple houses and businesses, so individual consumers will likely see connections of 1 gigabit per second.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski applauded Cisco's news, just as he praised Google's broadband announcement.

"Fast networks will speed our digital economy. That's why I have advocated for the goal of connecting every community to a 1-gigabit network, through anchor institutions like schools and libraries," he said. "New technologies like Cisco's and investments by broadband providers are important steps toward this goal. Ultra high-speed networks will ensure that the jobs and businesses of the future are created in America. Every American should have the opportunity to share in the benefits of broadband."

It's good timing for the FCC to come out with strong support for such initiatives. The agency will be relying on the private sector to carry out the recommendations it plans to unveil next week in its much-awaited National Broadband Plan.