Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has launched a Notice of Inquiry in which she proposes a jump in the national standard for minimum broadband services speed from 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream to 100 Mbps and 20 Mbps, respectively. She also has proposed a goal of 1 Gbps downstream and 500 Mbps upstream for the future.
The proposal comes as Rosenworcel kicks off the FCC’s annual evaluation of the state of broadband across the U.S. The notice also contains proposals that include such factors as affordability, adoption, availability, and equitable access as part of its assessment of whether broadband is being deployed in a reasonable and timely manner.
The FCC set the 25 Mbps/3 Mbps standard in 2015. “The needs of internet users long ago surpassed the FCC’s 25/3 speed metric, especially during a global health pandemic that moved so much of life online,” said Rosenworcel. “The 25/3 metric isn’t just behind the times, it’s a harmful one because it masks the extent to which low-income neighborhoods and rural communities are being left behind and left offline. That’s why we need to raise the standard for minimum broadband speeds now and while also aiming even higher for the future, because we need to set big goals if we want everyone everywhere to have a fair shot at 21st century success.”