The giant coffee mug may be gone, but the outdated definition of broadband remains at the Federal Communications Commission.
With a new administration, former Chairman Ajit Pai is stepping away and being replaced as Chair by Jessica Rosenworcel, one of two Democratic appointees to the five-member commission. But one thing old will remain - for now. The FCC has decided to keep its current definition of broadband.
The FCC's definition of broadband as 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload was put into place in 2015. Since that time, consumer bandwidth has continued to increase and many advocates have called for the definition to increase accordingly. But in one of his final acts as chairman, Pai declared that the definition is fine for now.
"We find that the current speed benchmark of 25/3Mbps remains an appropriate measure by which to assess whether a fixed service is providing advanced telecommunications capability. We conclude that fixed services with speeds of 25/3Mbps continue to meet the statutory definition of advanced telecommunications capability; that is, such services "enable users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video telecommunications." -- FCC annual deployment report, per Ars Technica
The definition may be headed for an update however, depending on whether or not President Biden is able to get another Democratic appointee confirmed to the FCC (the Commission is currently one member short and has an even split of 2 Democrats and 2 Republicans). New Chair Rosenworcel has stated publicly that the definition should be raised to at least 100 Mbps for downloads and something much higher than 3 Mbps uploads.
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Presented by the Community Broadband Action Network and curated by Curtis Dean.