FCC raises the bar for internet services to be labeled ‘Broadband’

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The minimum download speed required for internet service to be called “broadband,” by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has been quadrupled in a sudden but notable move. This is the first time since 2015 that the FCC’s internet speed regulations have changed. The new standards aim at 100Mbps for downloads and 20Mbps for uploads.

FCC internet speed regulations require the ‘Broadband’ label to be exclusive to 100Mbps Download speeds

This comes after the FCC’s annual evaluation of high-speed internet, which emphasized the need for better national connectivity. The report, however, indicates insufficient broadband deployment, particularly in rural areas and Tribal lands where millions of Americans lack access to quality high-speed internet.

Moreover, about twenty-four million people in America still lack fixed terrestrial broadband services as identified by TheVerge (via the official FCC report) with many rural and tribal populations making up a significant percentage of such numbers. Additionally, around nine percent of all Americans lack adequate 5G cellular speeds including higher percentages in more remote areas without tribal government.

Looking into the future, the Federal Communications Commission has envisaged achieving 1Gbps download speeds and upload speeds of 500Mbps as its long-term aim. This ambitious target provides a common goal for stakeholders suggesting possible amendments to come in the future regarding broadband standards.

FCC aims to improve the quality of internet in the US by dialing up the thresholds

To bring about improvements in services, the decision to increase broadband speed requirements aims at forcing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to take action. The Federal Communications Commission cannot force speed upgrades but it can bar the ISPs from branding their offerings as “broadband” if they don’t exceed the new thresholds

Also, this act affirms the FCC’s commitment to high-quality internet service for all Americans, following the Biden administration’s attempt. Nevertheless, its effectiveness will depend on whether ISPs find it viable to follow these policies as they push to provide a more dependable and faster connection to their customers. Faster internet doesn’t necessarily mean a reliable connection, and one often comes at the expense of the other.

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