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FCC turbocharges broadband: Speed requirements quadrupled!

100Mbps download is the new norm for broadband.
By

Published onMarch 15, 2024

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TL;DR
  • The FCC has changed the definition of broadband and increased speed requirements four-fold.
  • For an internet connection to be deemed broadband, it must now offer 100Mbps download and 20Mbps upload speeds.
  • The previous benchmark for broadband was 25Mbps download and 2Mbps upload.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has increased broadband speed benchmarks for the first time in almost 10 years. For an internet service to be deemed “broadband,” the commission now requires it to provide at least 100Mbps download speeds and 20Mbps upload speeds.

The previous benchmark for a broadband connection was set at 25Mbps download and 2Mbps upload since 2015. So essentially, internet service providers now have to offer 4x more download speeds for their connections to be decreed as broadband.

The FCC states that the increased fixed speed benchmark is based on the standards now used in multiple federal and state programs, consumer usage patterns, and what is actually available from and marketed by internet service providers.

According to the commission’s annual assessment report, broadband is not being deployed in a reasonable and timely fashion based on the total number of Americans. By changing the requirements for broadband, the regulatory agency aims to close the gap in the deployment of the technology.

The commission has also set a long-term goal of 1Gbps download and 500Mbps upload speeds for broadband “to give stakeholders a collective goal towards which to strive — a better, faster, more robust system of communication for American consumers.”

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