FCC chair proposes upgrading broadband standard to 100Mbps down, 20Mbps up

Tudor Cibean

Posts: 140   +9
Staff
In context: Currently, the minimum connection speeds required to classify as broadband in the US are 25Mbps downstream and 3Mbps upstream. The FCC chair recently proposed increasing that standard to 100/20Mbps, while also mentioning plans to upgrade it to a whopping 1Gbps/500Mbps in the future. Unfortunately, it's unknown if her proposal will move forward.

FCC chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has proposed raising the definition of broadband speeds to 100Mbps for downloads and 20Mbps up. She also suggested adopting a plan to update the standard to 1Gbps/500Mbps at some point in the future and that the commission's broadband deployment analysis takes more factors into account, including affordability, adoption, availability, and equitable access.

The FCC uses the broadband definition to determine what areas in the US don't have adequate internet services and to direct government funding where it is most needed. It also forces internet service providers to upgrade their networks and provide higher line speeds to consumers if they want to keep receiving federal subsidies.

The current 25/3Mbps standard was established in 2015, replacing the antiquated 4/1Mbps minimum. Since then, there have been several attempts to raise it, mainly because of the pandemic forcing people to move more of their lives online. However, former FCC chair Ajit Pai decided early last year that the speeds were still sufficient to count as "advanced telecommunications capability".

It's unknown if and when the FCC will adopt the upgraded broadband definition. Rosenworcel's proposal requires a vote, and the commission is still in a deadlock with two Democrats and two Republicans.

Earlier this year, the Biden Administration introduced a new government subsidy making high-speed internet connectivity free for many low-income households.

Permalink to story.

 

yRaz

Posts: 4,604   +5,540
25/3 is just too low these days. As much as I HATE the cloud, it is being integrated into our lives and 25/3 just isn't enough.

I read an article explaining when even these days upload speeds are lower than download speeds, I'll post it if I can dig it up. But I agreed with it to some extent. The 4:1 speeds we see these days seems to be a bit low
 

takaozo

Posts: 210   +304
The advantage for later adopters, of Internet in countries from East Europe, was that devices available were 100Mbps and inter ISP cabling supporting 1000Mbps. You Americans had that serial routers and ATM network from start.
Those devices are still in use as far as I understand in some remote locations.
Same thing in West Europe, DSL is still king.
I got some friends working in Germany now to replace cable with fiber country wide.
UK same DSL.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,604   +5,540
The advantage for later adopters, of Internet in countries from East Europe, was that devices available where 100Mbps and inter ISP cabling supporting 1000Mbps. You Americans had that serial routers and ATM network from start.
Those devices are still in use as far as I understand in some remote locations.
Same thing in West Europe, DSL is still king.
I got some friends working in Germany now to replace cable with fiber country wide.
UK same DSL.
DSL is still king because phone lines are still required to be run ti every home. There is a large population that lives outside the range where the infustructure investment isn't worth it for capitalist companies.

I have 2gig up/down but I live in the city and I'm only paying $78/m.

This crap is complicated and I only realized that after writing that post
 

seeprime

Posts: 681   +893
Since cable and DSL ISPs, notoriously frugal will need to improve their infrastructure to provide higher speeds to all, overinflated prices will only go higher. Fiber production needs to increase to replace the ancient providers. I'm in a rural area where a family owned fiber to the home company started up a few years ago, offering symmetrical high speeds at half the price that local cable companies charge. New businesses are needed as the oldtimey ISPs will never reduce their prices for higher performaing service.
 

eforce

Posts: 1,025   +1,477
DSL is still king because phone lines are still required to be run ti every home. There is a large population that lives outside the range where the infustructure investment isn't worth it for capitalist companies.

I have 2gig up/down but I live in the city and I'm only paying $78/m.

This crap is complicated and I only realized that after writing that post

It isn't worth it because in places like the UK the government taxes fiber by the meter, nothing to do with capitalism just common sense.
 

p51d007

Posts: 3,289   +2,883
Obviously the FCC chairman has never been outside of a "large city.
All the time you hear "government types" say it is not right that countries like
Japan, South Korea, Taiwan etc have "faster" internet than the United States,
where most of it started. Well, the previous mentioned countries, taking their
land area, would fit within just the state of Texas, with room left over. It is
nearly impossible, for wired internet to be "nationwide" for every single home in
America. We are just too spread out! I remember a trip in the early 2000's from
Kansas City, to Rapid City SD to visit Mt. Rushmore. Once we left Sioux Falls,
traveled through Mitchell to Wall...you'd only see a farm house once in a while.
Then from Wall to Rapid City, about the same. (Now I know why they call the
badlands, the badlands). Wireless/Satellite is going to be about the only way to
provide "high speed" internet to every home in America. Unless they make taxpayers
pay for it.
 

PEnnn

Posts: 852   +1,026
Here in east Europe 1Gbps up/down is like 5-8 USD per month.

Here in the US, you know, the most technologically advanced and richest country on the planet.....a lousy 8 Mbps DSL download and 0.83 Mbps upload costs $80 / month!!

If you live outside metropolitan areas, you're royally sckrewed, with full blessing of the amazing FCC!

 

Darth Shiv

Posts: 2,307   +845
25/3 is just too low these days. As much as I HATE the cloud, it is being integrated into our lives and 25/3 just isn't enough.

I read an article explaining when even these days upload speeds are lower than download speeds, I'll post it if I can dig it up. But I agreed with it to some extent. The 4:1 speeds we see these days seems to be a bit low
25/3 is absolutely pathetic for video calling. It was dead years ago as a baseline.
 

trparky

Posts: 1,117   +1,264
It would force a lot of ISPs in the US to get off their collective rear ends and actually upgrade their infrastructure.

Myself? I'm lucky I have AT&T Fiber and I have 500/500 (that acts like 600/600 due to overprovisioning).
 

trieste1s

Posts: 72   +103
TechSpot Elite
Obviously the FCC chairman has never been outside of a "large city.
All the time you hear "government types" say it is not right that countries like
Japan, South Korea, Taiwan etc have "faster" internet than the United States,
where most of it started. Well, the previous mentioned countries, taking their
land area, would fit within just the state of Texas, with room left over. It is
nearly impossible, for wired internet to be "nationwide" for every single home in
America. We are just too spread out! I remember a trip in the early 2000's from
Kansas City, to Rapid City SD to visit Mt. Rushmore. Once we left Sioux Falls,
traveled through Mitchell to Wall...you'd only see a farm house once in a while.
Then from Wall to Rapid City, about the same. (Now I know why they call the
badlands, the badlands). Wireless/Satellite is going to be about the only way to
provide "high speed" internet to every home in America. Unless they make taxpayers
pay for it.
Rural is rural, can't do much about that. Though I don't see the same excuses given when it's about powerlines instead.

But sprawled suburbia, that's a self-inflicted poor zoning problem. See StrongTowns for more info.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,604   +5,540
Rural is rural, can't do much about that. Though I don't see the same excuses given when it's about powerlines instead.

But sprawled suburbia, that's a self-inflicted poor zoning problem. See StrongTowns for more info.
Basically the government subsidize the upfront infustructure cost and and gives the rights away to use them
 

TheRealSCDC

Posts: 305   +422
You can’t really compare the costs from other country's. They tax so much more, people get immune to looking at how much in taxes they pay. Saying it’s only $X here isn’t the real cost. Look at the percentage of your income that is paid to the gov’t.

Either way, the US is way too spread out for anything quick to happen. It’s a MASSIVE area of land. When Texas is bigger than most European countries.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,797   +1,851
Either way, the US is way too spread out for anything quick to happen. It’s a MASSIVE area of land. When Texas is bigger than most European countries.
Exactly so. The EU is 150% of the US population, crammed into less than half the area. And EU citizens are not only taxed at a higher rate, they spend far less of that tax money on defense. As long as the US is footing the majority of their defense bills, they can afford to subsidize many pet projects at home.
 

lripplinger

Posts: 364   +159
My rural ISP has me on 200/200 fiber to the home. The reason I even have fiber optic, is because the builder of the subdivision had the foresight to have fiber optic conduit run, when they started building out this place. My ISP is has a 5 year plan right now to replace all the old copper phone lines, with fiber optic. They actually were going to do it over 10 years, but funding from the government was on a tight time table, and so they had to move and cut the time in half in order to receive the funding.
 

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 1,345   +1,228
I believe in Australia we consider 12/1 enough and these garbage plans are still offered. I agree 100/20 is a good and reasonable baseline standard. This is the plan I'm on in Australia, which is still sad as I have full fibre optic connection, but the higher speed plans are stupidly expensive.
 

Puiu

Posts: 5,729   +4,667
TechSpot Elite
Obviously the FCC chairman has never been outside of a "large city.
All the time you hear "government types" say it is not right that countries like
Japan, South Korea, Taiwan etc have "faster" internet than the United States,
where most of it started. Well, the previous mentioned countries, taking their
land area, would fit within just the state of Texas, with room left over. It is
nearly impossible, for wired internet to be "nationwide" for every single home in
America. We are just too spread out! I remember a trip in the early 2000's from
Kansas City, to Rapid City SD to visit Mt. Rushmore. Once we left Sioux Falls,
traveled through Mitchell to Wall...you'd only see a farm house once in a while.
Then from Wall to Rapid City, about the same. (Now I know why they call the
badlands, the badlands). Wireless/Satellite is going to be about the only way to
provide "high speed" internet to every home in America. Unless they make taxpayers
pay for it.
You don't need to provide "broadband" to everyone, but it needs to be classified properly taking into account the evolution of the technology and the changes in how people use the internet.

You are literally paying right now for your current internet infrastructure (with both your subscription and with taxes). If broadband gets reclassified as 100/20 then the ISPs will be forced to upgrade if they want to advertise it as such (and to keep receiving money). Have you ever calculated just how much money ISPs receive yearly to "upgrade" to 25/3? That's outside guaranteed regional monopolies (by law).

I seriously don't understand why in the US you have laws that give regional monopolies.
 

TheRealSCDC

Posts: 305   +422
20 up is too low.
I have 10 up and as a family we have no problems. I Work from home, both of my daughters like to game and stream movies. My wife is a non-stop movie streamer. I have 4 outside NEST security cameras that upload to the cloud. Amazingly we don't have any issues with latency, jitter or speeds. My speed is 200/10
 

TheRealSCDC

Posts: 305   +422
You don't need to provide "broadband" to everyone, but it needs to be classified properly taking into account the evolution of the technology and the changes in how people use the internet.

You are literally paying right now for your current internet infrastructure (with both your subscription and with taxes). If broadband gets reclassified as 100/20 then the ISPs will be forced to upgrade if they want to advertise it as such (and to keep receiving money). Have you ever calculated just how much money ISPs receive yearly to "upgrade" to 25/3? That's outside guaranteed regional monopolies (by law).

I seriously don't understand why in the US you have laws that give regional monopolies.
It's all polotics and which Lobbyist group has the most $ to blow on their representative. For those not familiar :)

lob·by·ist
/ˈläbiist/
noun
  1. a person who takes part in an organized attempt to influence legislators.
 

Puiu

Posts: 5,729   +4,667
TechSpot Elite
I have 10 up and as a family we have no problems. I Work from home, both of my daughters like to game and stream movies. My wife is a non-stop movie streamer. I have 4 outside NEST security cameras that upload to the cloud. Amazingly we don't have any issues with latency, jitter or speeds. My speed is 200/10
With how much I download/upload for work, getting under 2.5MB/s (20mbps) would be criminal (you almost never get the max bandwidth anyway).

But I'm fairly biased because I live in Romania where you can buy a Fiberlink connection (500/250mbps) for 6$ per month (I have 1000/500 for 8$). Best you can buy is 10gbps for 10$ (only available in certain places).
 
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Endymio

Posts: 1,797   +1,851
I seriously don't understand why in the US you have laws that give regional monopolies.
We don't -- not for Internet service, at least. Many US cities have a quasi-monopoly status, not by force of law, but due primarily to the initial advantage cable companies were given until the 1990s Cable Act repealed their monopoly status. They still, though, retain monopsony power, making it difficult to compete with them.