The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has voted to change the definition of “broadband” speeds required for receipt of Connect America funding from 4 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream to a minimum of at least 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps for upstream speeds.
The change boosts minimum downstream speeds that originally were set in 2011. The Commission’s thinking is that the new standard better reflects minimum speeds received by
99 percent of U.S. residents living in urban areas.
Most locations can buy service at far-higher speeds, however. In fact, 86 percent of U.S. households can buy service at speeds from 25 Mbps to 50 Mbps at the end of 2013.
The new rules affect eligibility for CAF monies of about $1.8 billion a year, for the purpose of providing high speed access to five million rural residents.