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The FCC's New Broadband Standards: What They Mean for You

The FCC recently updated the requirements of broadband Internet to offer a minimum speed of 100 Mbps (previously 25 Mbps). Learn what that means for you.

In a landmark move, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has updated the definition of "broadband" to meet the increasing demands of today’s digital age. As announced by FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, the new standards now define broadband as having minimum speeds of 100 megabits per second (Mbps) for downloads and 20 Mbps for uploads. This is a significant leap from the previous standards of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload set in 2015.

What is "Broadband" Anyway?

Broadband refers to high-capacity Internet transmission techniques that support high-speed data transfers. This encompasses various types, such as Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), cable Internet, fixed wireless, satellite Internet, and broadband over power lines (BPL), enabling everything from high-definition video streaming to online gaming and large-scale file downloads.

Related article: Which Type of Broadband Internet is Right for Me?

Why Raise the Bar?

The FCC’s decision to raise the minimum broadband speed standards reflects our modern reliance on the Internet, which spans high-definition streaming, video conferencing, and professional activities that demand high bandwidth. This upgrade is not just about speed but also about expanding the capabilities of Internet service providers (ISPs) to handle the growing number of devices and the volume of data traffic generated by both households and businesses.

The Impact on Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

ISPs, including multi-million dollar corporations and smaller providers, are now tasked with upgrading their networks to comply with these new standards. This is particularly challenging for providers in rural and tribal areas, where infrastructure may not currently support such speeds. The updated standards are set to ignite competition among ISPs, pushing them to enhance their networks and service offerings.

What This Means for Consumers

For consumers, this upgrade means more efficient and reliable Internet connections. With the new minimum speed of 100 Mbps, users can expect smoother streaming, quicker downloads, and less buffering. As ISPs adjust to these standards, it could also lead to more competitive pricing and a broader range of service options, enhancing overall customer experience and choice.

Related article: How Much Internet Speed Do I Need?

The Reality of Access and Affordability

Despite these advancements, many Americans, particularly in rural, tribal, and low-income areas, still face significant barriers to accessing high-quality broadband. The FCC's updated standards and initiatives —like the former Affordable Connectivity Program — show steps toward bridging this digital divide and ensuring that more Americans can access vital online resources.

Related article: Free & Low-Income Internet Options You May Qualify For

Looking Forward

The updated broadband standards are poised to reshape the Internet landscape in the United States, setting a new benchmark for what constitutes adequate Internet service. It is essential for continued investment in infrastructure and community partnerships to ensure these benefits reach all corners of the country.

Find the Top Broadband Internet Provider Near You

If you're looking to upgrade your Internet service or are curious about new providers in your area, SmartMove is here to help. Our platform allows you to compare options to find the best fit for your needs, whether you're seeking top speeds for entertainment, work, or education. Don't settle for less — discover fast, reliable, and competitively priced broadband services through SmartMove today.

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