Enlarge (credit: Steve Johnson)
Senate Democrats are fighting a Federal Communications Commission proposal that could lower America’s broadband standards by redefining what counts as broadband Internet access.
Under standards imposed during the Obama administration, the FCC says that all Americans should have access to home Internet service offering speeds of at least 25Mbps downstream and 3Mbps upstream, as well as access to mobile Internet. When the FCC makes its annual judgment of whether broadband is being deployed to all Americans quickly enough, the commission thus analyzes whether all parts of the country have both fast home Internet and mobile service.
But FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal suggests that cellular Internet could be counted as a full substitute for home Internet access rather than a complement to it. Moreover, his proposal suggests that mobile wouldn’t even have to meet the 25/3Mbps speed standard—instead, a 10Mbps/1Mbps mobile connection could suffice.
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