Following #MobileOnly Challenge, Pai drops one bad proposal, keeps another

Following outcry from activists and lawmakers, FCC Chairman Pai dropped his radical proposal to lower the 25/3 Mbps (downstream/upstream) broadband standard to 10/1 Mbps. Pai has also conceded that cell phones are no substitute for wireline broadband.

But these fact-based conclusions shouldn’t hide the main headline: Pai’s proposed annual report mandated by Section 706 of the Communications Act concludes that broadband is being deployed in a “reasonable and timely fashion.” Tell that to the tens of millions of people still stuck without broadband access.

People know – and research shows – that cell phone Internet service is not a substitute for wired high-speed networks. That’s why CWA and public interest groups participated in the #MobileOnly Challenge. The challenge asks participants to spend one day using only a mobile device, disconnected from wi-fi, to access the Internet and tell Pai about their experience.

FCC Commissioners will vote on the 706 report – and should object to the outrageous conclusion that broadband is being deployed in a reasonable and timely manner. “More than 34 million people still lack access to broadband at the Commission’s 25/3 Mbps speed definition,” CWA wrote in comments to FCC. “There are still too many school children who must sit on the library steps or go to McDonald’s for wifi access to do their homework.”

 

Links:

CTC Technology report: mobile service not an adequate substitute to robust wireline broadband (Speed Matters, Oct. 10, 2017)

Senator Van Hollen, Representative Harris letter to Chairman Pai (US Congress, Jan. 17, 2018)

Broadband isn’t being deployed in fast enough, CWA tells FCC (Speed Matters, Sept. 11, 2017)

Broadband not being deployed in reasonable and timely fashion, civil rights coalition says (Speed Matters, Nov. 6, 2017)