Allo Fiber Wants FCC To Adopt 100/100 Mbps As New Broadband Definition

Dec 14, 2023

By Ted Hearn, Editor of Policyband 

Washington, D.C., Dec. 14, 2023 – Key regional players deploying fiber networks want the Federal Communications Commission to scrap the current speed definition of broadband for a much higher standard that they say will serve the needs of the modern online economy.

Allo Fiber, Google Fiber and Ting Internet recently sent a letter to the FCC saying that the current definition of broadband – 25/3 Mbps – was outdated and needed to be replaced by higher speed levels.

“The 25/3 Mbps definition of broadband was adopted in 2015, and was even then considered obsolete by many commentators. It is even more obsolete now,” they said.

The three providers said they supported a symmetrical broadband definition of 100 Mpbs downstream and upstream. Their upstream standard even exceeds the new broadband definition proposed by FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel a few months ago.

“Increasing the definition of broadband to 100/100 Mbps will help to close the digital divide by making certain low-income and rural America will not be getting Internet that is already antiquated the day it is installed,” the three companies said in their Dec. 11 submission. “Many government programs already require buildouts to meet a 100/20 standard with technical capacity to upgrade to 100/100. The FCC should align its definition of broadband with those requirements.”

Raising the broadband speed threshold is a goal advocated by Rosenworcel. In July, she circulated a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) proposing to increase the national broadband speed standard to “100 megabits per second for download and 20 megabits per second for upload …” The NOI also proposed to set a separate national goal of 1 Gbps/500 Mbps for the future.

“The needs of Internet users long ago surpassed the FCC’s 25/3 speed metric, especially during a global health pandemic that moved so much of life online,” Rosenworcel said.

The three fiber competitors said a new broadband speed definition was important not only to residential customers but also to business end users.

“A fast and reliable broadband connection is essential for businesses of all sizes. It allows businesses to communicate with customers and suppliers, access information, and conduct e-commerce,” the three companies said.

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