The FCC Wants to More Than Broadband Double Speed Requirement For Rural America

Last week The FCC Chairman Ajit Pai released a long blog post on 5G, Rural Broadband, and unwanted robocalls. In that post, he went on to call for the minimum speeds for rural broadband to be more than doubled. He proposed doing this by making changes to the Universal Service fund that is used to help build out broadband networks in difficult-to-service parts of the United Staes.

“There are a few basic principles that animate — or should — the high-cost program. First, subsidies should provide maximum incentive to be efficient; we want to stretch taxpayer dollars as far as possible. Second, subsidies should be sufficient to build out networks; after all, these are areas where the business case for private investment is lacking. Third, the program should support high-quality services; rural Americans deserve services that are comparable to those in urban areas. And fourth, subsidies should be predictable; after all, building networks is a serious long-term proposition, not a one-time whim. Unfortunately, for many, many years, the program hasn’t satisfied each of these important principles.” FCC CHairman Ajit Pai said in a blog post last week.

Ajit Pai went on to say “…we’re recognizing that rural Americans need and deserved high-quality services by increasing the target speeds for subsidized deployments from 10/1 Mbps to 25/3 Mbps.”

This means in the future if companies want to take advantage of the money available in the Universal Service fund they would need to offer speeds of 25 Mbps up and 3 Mbps down. Now that is not an FCC rule yet but according to Ajit Pai they hope to make that happen in December 2018.

Well, cord cutting can happen on 10 Mbps down. (When I cut the cord that was the fastest internet in my area and it did work.) Yet 20 to 25 Mbps down will offer a far better experience. As these new rules come into place this should help make cord cutting more of a real option for rural America.

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