Cord Cutting Is About to Become a Lot Easier for Millions of Americans Thanks to This New FCC Rule





man cutting cord with scissors

Last week, the FCC approved raising the national Internet speed benchmark to 100 Mbps for download and 20 Mbps for upload. That’s a significant increase to the current standard of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload. The FCC ruled that 5G services can be considered high speed if they offer 35 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up.

This may not seem like a major move, but it should help millions of Americans cut the cord. Currently many Americans who only have 25 Mbps down or less struggle with cord cutting. You need about 20 Mbps down to watch one 4K stream on Netflix. To watch four 4K streams at once, you need 80 Mbps to 100 Mbps for most services. The FCC will be helping millions of Americans cut the Internet cord as it helps fund this speed increase.

With this update, the FCC declared that 45 million Americans still do not have access to high-speed Internet through fixed lines like cable or fiber or even wireless providers like 5G home Internet.

This ruling has a major impact on FCC grants to financially help Internet providers bring high-speed Internet to rural America. To participate, ISPs would need to meet the new 100 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up speeds to receive funding for wired projects. In the future, this should help force Internet service providers to offer even faster Internet speeds.

The FCC report breaks down the current situation of high-speed Internet in the United States:

  • Fixed terrestrial broadband service (excluding satellite) has not been physically deployed to approximately 24 million Americans, including almost 28% of Americans in rural areas, and more than 23% of people living on Tribal lands; 
  • Mobile 5G-NR coverage has not been physically deployed at minimum speeds of 35/3 Mbps to roughly 9% of all Americans, to almost 36% of Americans in rural areas, and to more than 20% of people living on Tribal lands; 
  • 45 million Americans lack access to both 100/20 Mbps fixed service and 35/3 Mbps mobile 5G-NR service; and
  • Based on the new 1 Gbps per 1,000 students and staff short-term benchmark for schools and classrooms, 74% of school districts meet this goal. 

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