Right now, to be considered broadband Internet you need to offer 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up. When that rule was made those speeds made sense. As 4K video, video gaming, and other activities requiring more speed have become popular, those speeds don’t meet the needs of customers in 2023.
Recently Google, Ting, and others asked the FCC to require a minimum of 100 Mbps down and 100 Mbps up as the minimum speeds to be considered broadband Internet. Cable TV companies strongly object to this possible rule change.
This rule is important because those minimum speeds are used to determine who can receive subsidies from the federal government to roll out Internet services.
These new rules will strongly favor fiber companies over cable TV and satellite. At issue here are the upload speeds. Increasingly speeds for download have jumped to 1 Gbps in many areas. Sadly, upload speeds are still often well under 50 Mbps down.
To fight this, the cable lobbying group NCTA is asking the FCC to reject changes to the rules. In a letter to the FCC, NCTA states that these rules are not needed.
Several cable TV companies are already working to offer speeds that would meet these upload requirements—most noticeably Spectrum. Sadly, that is still likely years away for many customers.
We will have to wait and see what the FCC does next. Even if the change is approved, these new rules will likely result in a long legal fight.