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FCC Puts Clear Line Between Mobile and Fixed Broadband

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Jan 19, 2018, 8:26 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

The FCC this week released its findings concerning the state of broadband in the U.S. and the news is mixed. To start, the agency will continue to define "broadband" as connections that supply speeds of at least 25 Mbps for downloads and 3 Mbps for uploads. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has flirted with the idea of downgrading the top speeds required to meet the definition of broadband, which would have benefited internet providers, but in the end chose not to. The report also concludes that mobile broadband, as suppled by wireless network operators, should not be considered as a replacement for wired broadband. "Mobile broadband service is not a full substitute for fixed service," said Pai. "Instead, [the report] notes there are differences between the two technologies, including clear variations in consumer preferences and demands." The FCC will, therefore, take a different approach for overseeing each. The FCC has tasked itself with encouraging the investment in and deployment of broadband, whether it be wired or wireless. Had the FCC put wired and wireless broadband on equal footing, it might have led to less choice for consumers in the long run. The report largely acts to pat the FCC on its own back for supposed progress made this year. Pai added a few stinging comments about the previous administration's Title II net neutrality regulations and suggested the changes put in place by his leadership have led to a surge in broadband investment. Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel commented, "I'm glad that the FCC has backed away from its crazy idea to lower the broadband speed standard. But it defies logic to conclude that broadband is being reasonably and timely deployed across this country when over 24 million Americans still lack access." The full draft of the 2018 Broadband Deployment Report should be made public soon.




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Jan 21, 2018, 10:40 AM

what a joke

The fact that he even considered lowering the broadband definition speaks to his motivations. Such a decision would have been entirely a political move designed to only let internet providers make claims they do not deserve and make it look like progress. we need REAL INTERNET INFRASTRUCTURE UPGRADES, and NOT political manipulation.
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