FCC Raises Definition of Broadband to 25 Mbps, Declares U.S. Broadband Deployment Inadequate

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released its 2015 Broadband Progress Report in which it concludes that broadband is not being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion. This negative finding is based on a new definition of broadband. “Reflecting advances in technology, market offerings by broadband providers and consumer demand, the FCC updated its broadband benchmark speeds to 25 megabits per second (Mbps) for downloads and 3 Mbps for uploads.” Broadband was previously defined as Internet access service at speeds of at least 4 Mbps/1 Mbps. Using the FCC’s new definition of broadband, the 2015 Broadband Progress Report shows that 55 million Americans (17 percent of the U.S. population) lack access to broadband. The report shows that 53 percent of all rural Americans lack access to broadband service. It also shows that rural America is underserved at all speeds: 20 percent lack access to service at 4 Mbps/1 Mbps, and 31 percent lack access to 10 Mbps/1 Mbps.

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