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The FCC needs to quadruple what is considered base high-speed internet, according to senators

With more people working and studying from home, the current definition isn’t good enough.

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Image: Unsplash

For over five years now, the definition of high-speed internet, according to the Federal Communications Committee (FCC), is 25Mpbs download and 3Mbps upload. With more people working from home and the need for better internet becoming apparent, that number no longer seems like a reasonable milestone.

A bipartisan group of senators seems to agree and has called for the FCC to update what constitutes high-speed internet. In an open letter from Michael Bennet, Rob Portman, Joe Manchin, and Angus King Jr., it is noted:

Going forward, we should make every effort to spend limited federal dollars on broadband networks capable of providing sufficient download and upload speeds and quality, including low latency, high reliability, and low network jitter, for modern and emerging uses, like two-way videoconferencing, telehealth, remote learning, health IoT, and smart grid applications.

Our goal for new deployment should be symmetrical speeds of 100 megabits per second (Mbps), allowing for limited variation when dictated by geography, topography, or unreasonable cost.

The letter does note that this might be challenging in some rural areas, but that 14.5 million Americans do not have reliable access to broadband internet, and “other studies estimate this number could be as high as 162 million.”

The Verge even notes that the current regulations aren’t enough to meet video platform Zoom’s base requirements, something that has seen tremendous growth since businesses and schools have switched to telecommunicating.

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