FCC increases Connect America ‘broadband’ speed to 10Mbps

FCC increases Connect America ‘broadband’ speed to 10Mbps

In a new order which underscores a reclassification of broadband speeds, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has ruled that an Internet service will be considered 'broadband' if the providers deliver at least 10Mbps and 1Mbps of minimum download and upload speeds respectively.

With the minimum speeds having been set at 4Mbps since 2011, the new order issued by the FCC implies that Internet service providers (ISPs) will have to maintain at least a 10Mbps downlink speed for subscribers, so as to have their service classified as 'broadband.'

The new FCC ruling - which changes the definition of 'high-speed Internet' in the US - will be applicable to ISPs which receive taxpayer dollars through the regulator's Connect America Fund.

The FCC's move to reclassify broadband speeds carries a lot of impact because of federal regulation and subsidies. As a result of the increase in minimum speeds, the ISPs will be under immense financial pressure to expand broadband into remote areas, in which Internet speeds are comparatively much lower than those of well-developed cities and towns.

In its new order, the FCC said that the increase in Connect America Internet speed requirement will help ensure that "rural Americans, like urban Americans, can tap the benefits provided by broadband through faster web downloads, improved video streaming, and service capable of supporting multiple users in a household."

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