FCC defines broadband internet speed as at least 100 Mbps

The US telecommunication regulator, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has officially defined broadband internet speed from 25 Mbps to 100 Mbps. The decision follows a vote that took place on Thursday, February 14 which went in favor of increasing the benchmark.

The commission voted 3-2 in favor of raising the traditional broadband metric held in the country. So far, the Western country defined 25 Mbps download speed and 3 Mbps upload speed as broadband internet, too low by today’s internet standards and needs. Now, the speed benchmark has been redefined as 100 Mbps for download and 20 Mbps for upload.

With the new benchmark broadband speeds, the FCC intends to improve user experience in low-income households in the US, especially in rural areas. FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel said, “This fix is overdue. It also helps us better identify the extent to which low-income neighborhoods and rural communities are underserved.” She also maintained that “Millions of people in rural, urban, and Tribal communities still do not have the broadband they need to fully participate in modern life. We are working on it.” Rosenworcel had earlier sought to hike the minimum internet speed in the US which now has come to fruition.

It’s easy to assume that being such an advanced country, the US may already have had ample internet speed but that’s far from the truth. In fact, FCC data released in late 2022 pointed out that 45 million US citizens didn’t have 100/20 Mbps fixed-line internet and 35/3 Mbps mobile 5G-NR service.” While the downsize probably doesn’t reflect the overall state of the entire country, it’s incredible that the country is also not uniform when it comes to world-class internet services.

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US FCC raises minimum broadband internet speed to 100 Mbps

The new speed metric allows the authority to sort out the speed discrepancy. Moving forward, it will gather data on which areas across the country are getting sufficient broadband speed and which need improvement. Previously, the FCC raised the broadband internet metric from 4 Mbps DL/1 Mbps UL to 25 Mbps DL/3 Mbps UL. However, there were frequent calls to raise it further higher citing the country’s growing reliance on the internet and newer use cases.

Following the vote on March 14, the FCC has aimed to raise the broadband benchmark to 1,000 Mbps for download speed and 500 Mbps for upload speed.

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