FCC Increases Mobile Broadband Requirements

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Thursday, 11 December 2014

 Speed Benchmark Increase for AT&T, Verizon and More


People living in rural areas have long been left in the dust when it comes to the improvement and expansion of cellular technology. However, today the FCC made strides towards improving the overall cellular internet experience for remote consumers. As of December 11, 2014 the FCC has fundamentally altered the speed requirements of Mobile Broadband carriers for providers funded by government subsidies, including AT&T and Verizon. The speed requirement has been increased from the 4Mbps download and 1Mbps upload benchmark set in 2011, up to 10Mbps download and 1Mbps upload.

This is certainly a significant improvement, and may seem too good to be true for many mobile broadband customers. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler stated “When 60 percent of the Internet’s prime time is video, and it takes 4 or 5Mbps to deliver a video, a 4Mbps connection isn’t exactly what’s necessary in the 21st century.” On paper, this appears to be exactly what mobile broadband users are looking for.

However, the carriers have been opposing this change for months. Back in September, AT&T stated that “Consumer behavior strongly reinforces the conclusion that a 10Mbps service exceeds what many Americans need today.” The carriers are also unhappy because the increase in required speed is disproportionate to the increase of the FCC funding window for carriers, which under the new agreement has only been increased from 5 to 6 years time.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 11 December 2014 )
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