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Background:

Remember Ajit Pai, the former FCC Chairman appointed by Donald Trump? He was known for his controversial stance on net neutrality and his declaration that 25 megabits per second (mbps) was sufficient for broadband.

New Definition:

Three years later, the FCC has finally revised its definition of broadband. The new benchmark is now 100mbps, quadrupling the previous standard.

Rationale:

The FCC believes this update is crucial because it:

  • Aligns with recent legislation and government efforts to improve internet access.
  • Helps identify underserved communities that may need government funding for broadband infrastructure.

Current Situation:

As of 2024, 24 million Americans lack fixed broadband service, including 28% of rural areas.

Future Goals:

The FCC is not stopping at 100mbps. It has set a long-term goal of 1 Gigabit down and 500 Megabits up to ensure universal high-speed broadband access.

Progress and Challenges:

While the FCC’s move is a step in the right direction, there is still much work to be done to improve internet accessibility in the U.S. Two Republican FCC Commissioners dissented from the vote, highlighting the ongoing debate over broadband standards.