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FCC Chairwoman proposes US broadband standards increase to 100Mbps down, 20Mbps up

Current FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has proposed boosting internet speed standards left painfully low by former Chairman Ajit Pai.

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Former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai arguably did devastating damage to net neutrality and many regulatory factors that went along with it, one of those being the claim that a fairly abysmal (by today’s standards) 25MB/s download speed and 3MB/s upload speed were acceptable standards for internet service speed. Current FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel disagrees with that stance and recently proposed a boost in US broadband standards, raising them to 100MB/s and 20MB/s.

Rosenworcel put her proposal of raised US broadband standards before fellow commissioners of the FCC recently, as reported by Ars Technica. Where former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai once claimed that 25MB/s download and 3MB/s upload were enough, as adopted under 2015 Chairman Tom Wheeler, Rosenworcel claims times have changed and these standards simply don’t fit today’s regular needs in internet service.

“The needs of Internet users long ago surpassed the FCC's 25/3 speed metric, especially during a global health pandemic that moved so much of life online," Rosenworcel stated in her announcement. "The 25/3 metric isn't just behind the times, it's a harmful one because it masks the extent to which low-income neighborhoods and rural communities are being left behind and left offline."

A portrait image of former Trump-era FCC chairman Ajit Pai.
Ajit Pai played a huge part in deregulating the internet industry and the rules put in place by net neutrality. Rosenworcel aims to undo some of the deregulation put in place by Pai.
Source: Image via FCC

Laws in the United States require the FCC to annually assess whether “advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion.” It also demands the FCC “take immediate action to accelerate deployment” if it should find current standards lacking. Ajit Pai was instrumental during the Trump administration in dismantling net neutrality regulations and protections before his resignation prior to the Biden administration's tenure. Keeping standards low was arguably part of Pai aiding telecom companies with passing grades in annual assessment and reporting.

Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel will need a 3-2 democratic vote in the FCC to overturn Pai’s prior deregulation, but if it passes, it could mean big things for internet standards in the US. Stay tuned for further updates as we follow this story.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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