FCC Reclassifies Broadband

A few days ago, the cable lobbying group National Cable and Telecommunications Association made it clear that they were against the redefinition of “broadband”. The FCC was looking to increase the minimum speed for an internet connection to be considered broadband. Cable companies and ISPs that provide DSL were against it, as they’d feel pressure from consumers to incerase their speeds. They even claimed that the average American doesn’t need 25Mbps down or 4Mbps up, which isn’t even fast enough for reliable 4K streaming. They’re going to be unhappy, because the FCC kept up with technology, listened to consumers, and reclassified broadband.

In order for internet to be classified as broadband, it has to be considerably faster than it was previously. Before, downloads could be 4Mbps and uploads could be just 1Mbps for “broadband” classificaiton. DSL was capable of pumping out these speeds, as it really isn’t that fast. Previously, only 6.3% of the US were without broadband internet. Now, 18.1% will be without broadband under the new rule. Cable companies will be pressured to expand their networks, something they’ve lagged on, to the other 20% of America.

Technology marches forward, and usually, companies support this march. However, cable companies have regional monopolies in the US, and that gives them more power over consumers than they should have. They are free to set prices, and to reduce costs, provide customers with lower speeds, or keep their high speed networks small. Measures such as this will push these companies to provide broadband to more consumers, and besides the cable companies, everyone wins with faster internet access. FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel stated that she wants to increase the broadband limit to 100Mbps, pushing technology forward in the US. America lags behind the rest of the world in healthcare, education, and even internet speed. The world wide web was started in the United States, there’s no reason we should be surpassed by other countries. The FCC wants to push our country forward (which is a surprise, really), and our cable companies like Comcast are holding us back. Maybe we need to do more than increase internet speeds, maybe we have to change the whole system.

Source: The Verge



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