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CWA urges FCC to raise broadband speed definition

07 Sep, 2014

The FCC is now in the process of compiling its Tenth Broadband Progress Notice Of Inquiry. Each year, the FCC must, as mandated by Congress, conduct an inquiry to determine whether broadband is being deployed in a “reasonable and timely” fashion. The Communications Workers of America filed comments on the report.

In particular, CWA voiced support for the FCC’s proposal to raise the current broadband definition from 4 Mbps down/1 Mbps up to 10 Mbps down/1.5 Mbps up

That's the speed needed by a “Moderate Use Household” with multiple users – simultaneously streaming HD video, taking an online education course, browsing the web, and syncing e-mails. According to FCC calculations, a "Moderate Use Household" requires 7.9 Mbps down/1.05 Mbps up. And, a “High Use Household” with multiple users – simultaneously streaming HD video, making an HD video call, saving files to the cloud, and syncing e-mails – would require 10 Mbps down/2.9 Mbps up.

In its comments, CWA noted that raising the broadband speed requirement to 10/1 Mbps for rural telecoms receiving subsidies from the Connect America Fund – formerly Universal Service Funds would entail additional costs. While CWA wants to see high speeds brought to everyone, it will be necessary for the FCC to modify some Connect America Fund requirements for rural carriers to achieve that goal.

Tenth Broadband Progress Notice Of Inquiry (FCC posting, Aug. 1, 2013)
 
Comments of Communications Workers of America (FCC filing, Sep. 4, 2014)

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