FCC chair proposes raising the broadband standard to 100Mbps: The FCC’s threshold for internet speed was 25 Mbps in 2015, which sounded fast at the time; but, that was seven years ago, and the current leadership of the agency believes it’s time to boost that baseline. Jessica Rosenworcel, who serves as Chairwoman, has proposed increasing the minimum definition of broadband to include download speeds of 100 Mbps and upload speeds of 20 Mbps. According to Rosenworcel, the prior standard of 25/3 is not only out of date but also conceals the exact number of low-income and rural internet users who are being “left behind and left offline.”
The chair stated that there was more than one piece of evidence to support the increase, one of which was the mandate for the development of a new network that resulted from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had previously recommended speed increases to rural areas by means of a unique program; nevertheless, this would influence the definition of broadband regardless of where customers live in the country.
Rosenworcel also desired for the minimum speed to increase gradually over the course of time. She suggested establishing a far higher standard for some point in the future of 1 Gigabit per second down and 500 Megabits per second up. Adoption rates, cost, availability, and equal access were some of the additional criteria that the leader stated should be considered when establishing what constitutes a “reasonable and timely” rollout of broadband.
It is currently unknown whether or not the proposed change to the standards will be implemented. According to Ars Technica, any proposed update would require a vote, and the present panel, which consists of two Democrats and two Republicans, is currently at an impasse. Rosenworcel, a Democrat, may not succeed in achieving her goals because the Senate has not made significant headway in advancing the nomination of Gigi Sohn to the position of commissioner. It’s possible that the telecoms industry won’t be delighted either. It was just in the past year that Comcast increased the downstream speed of its $10 Essentials tier to 50 Mbps; it and other carriers may have to make investments in improved networks in order to reach the 100 Mbps requirement in certain places, let alone a possible 1 Gbps threshold.