The FCC just quadrupled the download speed required to market internet as ‘broadband’

There is an FCC increased speeds For the first time since 2015, it is required to describe an internet service as ‘broadband’. The agency’s annual high-speed internet assessment concluded that 100 Mbps upload and 20 Mbps upload will be the new standard. The news is likely to upset ISPs who want to tout 25Mbps / 3Mbps speeds (previous standards) and convince people they’re getting high-speed broadband.

The FCC’s report broke down several areas where the nation’s online infrastructure is weak. The agency concluded that broadband is not being deployed quickly enough to serve Americans, particularly those living in rural areas and on tribal lands. “These gaps in deployment are not closing fast enough,” the agency said in its report.

More specifically, the agency said fixed terrestrial broadband service (including satellite) is still not available to about 24 million Americans, including about 28 percent of people living in rural areas and more than 23 percent of those living on tribal lands. On the mobile front, he added, nearly nine percent of Americans (including 36 percent in rural areas and more than 20 percent on tribal lands) do not have adequate 5G cellular speeds of at least 35 Mbps down / 3 Mbps up.

The report sets a long-term target of broadband speeds below 1 Gbps / up to 500 Mbps to “give stakeholders a collective goal to strive for”. These figures may indicate where the Commission wants to move the goalposts when it next renews them. When the commission was created in 2015 Set 25 Mbps / 3 Mbps requirementsFCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel commented, “Obviously, it should be 100 Mbps” — the benchmark the agency finally moved to today nine years later.

The FCC can’t police ISPs to increase their speeds, but such action may be the best card it can play. What it can do is prevent them from selling their services as “broadband” if they don’t meet those limits. It remains to be seen whether infrastructure companies are playing ball or using other marketing buzzwords to sell customers on glacial and antiquated internet speeds.

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