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FCC Updates Broadband Speed Standard, Aims for Nationwide High-Speed Internet Acces

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has updated the national broadband speed standard to at least 100Mbps download and 20Mbps upload speeds, marking the first adjustment since January 2015. This decision aims to align with current federal and state program standards, consumer usage, and offerings by Internet service providers.

The partisan divide: The move ends a period where the standard remained at 25Mbps/3Mbps, reflecting a division between Democrats favoring higher speeds and Republicans opposing changes. This standard is more than a guideline; it influences FCC’s regulatory actions regarding the deployment of broadband services across the United States.

With the new benchmark, the FCC might conclude that broadband providers are not sufficiently expanding access, potentially leading to regulatory measures to ensure faster deployment and enhanced competition.

Political dynamics: FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel advocated for the speed increase before her current position, proposing the new standard in 2022. However, a deadlock persisted until a Democratic majority was established with Biden’s second nominee’s confirmation in September 2023.

The FCC’s recent report highlights the inadequacy of the old speed benchmark, showing a significant number of Americans, especially in rural and Tribal areas, lack access to advanced broadband. The report also introduces a future goal of 1Gbps download and 500Mbps upload speeds, serving as a milestone for evaluating progress in broadband deployment.

This update from the FCC signals a significant shift towards acknowledging and addressing the digital divide, with the aim of improving nationwide broadband infrastructure to meet modern needs and future challenges.

By CircleID Reporter

CircleID’s internal staff reporting on news tips and developing stories. Do you have information the professional Internet community should be aware of? Contact us.

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