FCC Chair Seeks to Hike Minimum Broadband Speed in the US

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel wants to inflate the national minimum broadband speed in the US to 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload. In an attempt to redefine what it means to be a broadband speed service for modern day internet needs; the US telecom regulator Supremo has proposed to quadruple the current internet speed.

Recently, Mrs. Rosenworcel had a Notice of Inquiry circulated among her colleagues seeking responses to whether the broadband internet speed should be increased to 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload. The hiked speed would be in line with the federal program initiated by the US Congress to connect the unserved areas around the country.

The newly proposed internet speeds tend to significantly boost the speeds in the country. The existing minimum speed was adopted in 2015 which defines broadband speed as having 25 Mbps downloads and 3 Mbps uploads meaning the new measure seeks to quadruple them.

Broadband internet

The US has already adopted 100/20 Mbps measure in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act worth $42 billion that will build broadband networks across the country.

Mrs. Rosenworcel argued that increasing the minimum internet speed is crucial to ensure new network infrastructures with federal subsidies will provide a uniform access to high-speed among the customers.

Her circulated inquiry also askes if the authority should determine a different goal of 1 Gbps for downloads and 500 Mbps pe second uploads for the future.

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New speed metric for newer needs

“The needs of internet users long ago surpassed the FCC’s 25/3 speed metric, especially during a global health pandemic that moved so much of life online,” Mrs. Rosenworcel stated. “The 25/3 metric isn’t just behind the times, it’s a harmful one because it masks the extent to which low-income neighborhoods and rural communities are being left behind and left offline.  That’s why we need to raise the standard for minimum broadband speeds now and while also aiming even higher for the future, because we need to set big goals if we want everyone everywhere to have a fair shot at 21st century success.”

Her proposal has drawn appreciation from rural service providers. But they wish the 1 Gbps minimum speed to get the ascent.

“The 100 Mbps/20 Mbps proposal beats 25Mbps/3Mbps,” Chip Pickering, CEO of Incompas, a trade association advocating for competition policy across all networks, said in an interview. “That’s progress. But it’s not making networks future-proof. So I’d say this is a bump along the road to 1Gbps broadband.”

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Likewise, Shirley Bloomfield, CEO of NTCA — The Rural Broadband Association, said “as a nation, we need to aim higher and do better when it comes to setting broadband objectives.”

But she admired the proposal and effort to increase the national minimum for long term.

What should be the minimum internet speed to suit your current needs? Do share with others in the comments below.

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