Tech Giants Urge FCC To Raise Pathetic U.S. Definition Of ‘Broadband’ To 1 Gigabit
from the it-ain't-broadband-if-it-ain't-broad dept
INCOMPAS, the DC trade policy and lobbying group primarily steered by tech giants, is urging the FCC to finally boost the U.S.’ pathetic definition of broadband. The FCC’s current definition of broadband, 25 Mbps down, 3 Mbps up, is looking a bit pathetic, particularly on the upstream side. And the lower standard helps the uncompetitive telecom sector obscure its failure to broadly deliver next-gen speeds.
“Since 2017, we have urged the FCC to increase internet speed benchmarks to 1 Gigabit – it’s a faster standard that consumers want and the market can easily deliver,” INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering said. “Other nations including China and Europe have gigabit goals in place, and it’s time for the FCC to deliver faster speeds or risk slowing down our economy.”
Originally defined as anything over 200 kbps in either direction, the definition was updated in 2010 to a pathetic 4 Mbps down, 1 Mbps up. It was updated again in 2015 by the FCC to a better, but still arguably pathetic 25 Mbps downstream, 3 Mbps upstream.
As we noted then, the broadband industry whined incessantly about having any higher standards, as it would only further highlight industry failure, the harm of monopolization, and a lack of competition. In fact, telecom giants have consistently lobbied against any new effort to raise the standard.
Recently, FCC boss Jessica Rosenworcel announced she supports a new definition of 100 Mbps downstream, 25 Mbps upstream. The problem: because the telecom lobby successfully blocked the confirmation vote of Gigi Sohn to the FCC (something Rosenworcel hasn’t said much about), the agency lacks the voting majority needed to implement this or any other reform opposed by telecom giants.
Both INCOMPAS and Rosenworcel know this.
“We have the ability and responsibility as Americans to go big and bold on broadband,” the letter said. “We are looking to the Commission’s leadership to establish a new broadband speed goal that enables all Americans to access high-speed internet no matter where they live or work. It is time to set that goal to 1 Gigabit.”