The Federal Communications Commission should define broadband as internet speeds of at least 100 Mbps in both directions, up from the current benchmark of 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream, trade groups for rural broadband carriers and fiber carriers argue in a new regulatory filing.
The current standard “does not reflect what American consumers need today, let alone tomorrow,” NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association and the Fiber Broadband Association write in comments filed Friday.
“As we look back, the Commission has significantly and repeatedly underestimated consumers’ need for robust broadband service, opting for ‘here and now’ short-term metrics that could not conflict more squarely with long-term objectives and the long-term nature of infrastructure deployment,” the organizations add. “Based on the record in this proceeding, the 25/3 Mbps speed metric does not reflect today’s reality.”
Here are some of their reasons…
The rural broadband association and fiber broadband association argue in their new filing that many people currently need connections greater than the 25/3 benchmark.
“On any given day, for example, multiple family members in a single household might connect to their home networks on separate devices at the same time to engage in remote learning on Google Classrooms, telework on Citrix, access telehealth services on Teladoc, apply for jobs through LinkedIn, chat with family on Zoom, share their views on Twitter, stream a movie on Netflix, and play “Fortnite” with friends across the country and around the world. A 25/3 Mbps connection is not sufficient to support these activities,” the groups write.
They add that people’s need for bandwidth will only increase in the future, as technologies like 8K video and virtual reality take hold.
This is similar to a debate that the MN Broadband Task Force has touched upon in their last two meetings. Some want to push the Minnesota speed goal; some want to investigate it next year. Bad news, investigate next year won out in the report. Good news, symmetrical speeds were put into the mix in discussion topic in the report.