As a long-term objective, the US regulator plans to request public input on gradually increasing the FCC’s broadband standard from 100Mbps to 1Gbps.
The FCC is currently considering increasing the threshold for required broadband speeds to 100 Mbps. However, the US government now wants to set the stage for eventually increasing the measure to 1Gbps.
The endeavor is a component of the FCC’s notice of investigation, which was issued on Wednesday. The commission has been discussing increasing the government minimum internet speed definition from the present 25/3Mbps metric to 100Mbps for downloads and 20Mbps for uploads since last year.
The formal notice of inquiry initiates the process of upgrading the FCC’s broadband metrics. Consumers and ISPs will be asked for their input, and the FCC may decide to establish a formal rule that will go to a vote after receiving more comments.
It’s interesting to note that part of the same inquiry asks the public if the FCC ought to establish a long-term objective of eventually boosting the speed benchmark to 1Gbps/500Mbps. It states, “In evaluating broadband deployment, we must not only look at the present, but also to the future.”
The speed metric holds significance as it aids in the determination of the FCC’s financial allocation for the purpose of subsidizing new broadband networks. The majority of the US appears to have fast internet according to the commission’s broadband map, however this is only because high-speed broadband is defined by default as 25 Mbps/3 Mbps. When the map is calibrated to display only 25 Mbps or 100 Mbps over wired networks, the image dramatically alters to display speed differences across the nation.
ISPs are already being forced to reach gig speeds by the FCC’s public subsidies for broadband networks, which appears to have driven the agency to decide on the 1Gbps/500Mbps figure. The US regulator went on to say that Establishing a long-term goal could not only give notice to policymakers and market participants as to how advanced telecommunications capability is likely to be defined in the near future, but also give all parties, government and industry alike, a collective goal toward which to strive.”
The FCC is likewise in favor of setting the target, pointing out that many states may still use 25/3Mbps as their benchmark for particular programs. The panel said, “While funding recipients may well dramatically exceed such benchmarks, we are concerned that our lack of a long-term goal may be sending an inappropriate signal to other policymakers.”
In response, the FCC is seeking public feedback on whether or not to adopt 1Gbps as a long-term target, as well as the definition of “long-term.”
“We note that the length of support for many commission high-cost programs is 10 years,” the FCC added. “Would a different speed than 1Gbps/500Mbps be a more appropriate long-term benchmark?… Should we adopt a symmetrical long-term benchmark?”
However, not all FCC members support increasing the broadband measure to 1Gbps. “All else being equal, no one would choose 100/20Mbps service over 1000/500Mbps service, but the vast majority of consumers do not materially benefit from such high speeds, and deploying such high-speed service is not free,” Trump appointment Commissioner Nathan Simington stated in a statement.
“A 100/20Mbps connection is fast enough to watch multiple 4K-quality streams, make multiple video calls, and play multiple online games, all at the same time,” he added. “New applications may one day require more bandwidth, but it is premature to set a target based on hypothetical use cases that may not materialize or, that when they do, might require even more than 1000/500Mbps anyway.”
Source: PC Mag