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The Current Definition of ‘Broadband’ Is Too Slow and Ajit Pai Refuses to Change it

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Under the Telecom Act of 1996, the FCC is required to routinely assess whether broadband is "being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion," and take action if it isn’t. Part of that effort involves periodically updating the standard definition of “broadband” to ensure it meets technological advancements and consumer expectations.

For example, in early 2015 the FCC voted to upgrade the standard definition of broadband from a paltry 4 Mbps down, 1 Mbps up—to a more respectable 25 Mbps down, 3 Mbps up.

At the time, giant ISP executives, lobbyists, and numerous, ISP-loyal Senators whined incessantly about the changes. Commissioner Ajit Pai (who hadn’t yet been promoted to agency head) was quick to vote against the effort, joining alongside cable lobbying organizations who lamented the changes as “unrealistic and arbitrary.”

Why were the nation’s broadband monopolies so upset? Because the faster standard not only highlighted the painful lack of competition at faster speeds, but the fact that many telcos had neglected network upgrades at any real scale. As a result, millions of Americans only have access to sluggish, over-priced DSL lines that can’t even technically be called broadband.

With the FCC preparing its latest report of the state of broadband in the States, the focus has shifted once again to whether the current definition of broadband is currently fast enough. Especially on the upstream side of the aisle, where 3 Mbps is starting to look notably last-generation in the face of symmetrical, gigabit connections.

And once again, Ajit Pai is hoping to keep the broadband definition bar set at ankle height.

In a Notice of Inquiry published last week, Pai’s FCC proposed keeping the current 25/3 definition intact, something that riled his fellow Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel.

"This inquiry fundamentally errs by proposing to keep our national broadband standard at 25Mbps," Rosenworcel said of the decision.

"It is time to be bold and move the national broadband standard from 25 Megabits to 100 Megabits per second,” Rosenworcel stated. “When you factor in price, at this speed the United States is not even close to leading the world. That is not where we should be and if in the future we want to change this we need both a more powerful goal and a plan to reach it. Our failure to commit to that course here is disappointing. I regretfully dissent."

Again, adequately defining broadband is important because it determines whether the nation’s broadband providers are deploying "advanced telecommunications capability” to American consumers. Given the rise in 4K streaming, cloud storage, and next-gen services, it’s easy to see how the 3 Mbps upstream definition is starting to look a bit antiquated.

This isn’t the first time Pai’s preference for flimsier broadband standards has been an issue at the agency.

In addition to voting against the effort to raise the bar from 4 Mbps to 25 Mbps back in 2015, the FCC head was forced to retreat from a plan last year that would have effectively lowered the bar to 10 Mbps—by including slower, capped, throttled and caveat-laden wireless connections as part of the overall definition of genuine broadband.

Rosenworcel had choice words for Pai then as well, calling Pai’s effort “crazy” and counterproductive.

Again, the motivation for the industry’s opposition to faster standards should be obvious. If data indicates that next-gen broadband isn’t being deployed quickly enough, somebody might just get the wild idea to actually do something about it. And if you’re a monopoly ISP basking in the profitable glow of a broken, uncompetitive market, you certainly wouldn’t want that.



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DMack
22 hours ago
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welcome to canada, america!
Victoria, BC
dreadhead
12 hours ago
At least they have a giant mug.
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JimB
7 hours ago
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This is most definitely not going to make America great again. When we visited in 2016 we were surprised how slow broadband was. We were astounded how slow and patchy cell data coverage was. Should have gone to California.

“I have a secret. My father is Steve Jobs.”

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Vanity Fair has an excerpt of Small Fry, a memoir by Lisa Brennan-Jobs, the oldest daughter of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who named an early computer after her. Jobs notoriously denied paternity from the moment of Brennan-Jobs’ birth.

Then, in 1980, the district attorney of San Mateo County, California, sued my father for child-support payments. My father responded by denying paternity, swearing in a deposition that he was sterile and naming another man he said was my father.

I was required to take a DNA test. The tests were new then, and when the results came back, they gave the odds that we were related as the highest the instruments could measure at the time: 94.4 percent. The court required my father to cover welfare back payments, child-support payments of $385 per month, which he increased to $500, and medical insurance until I was 18. The case was finalized on December 8, 1980, with my father’s lawyers insistent to close. Four days later Apple went public and overnight my father was worth more than $200 million.

But before that, just after the court case was finalized, my father came to visit me once at our house in Menlo Park, where we had rented a detached studio. It was the first time I’d seen him since I’d been a newborn in Oregon.

“You know who I am?” he asked. He flipped his hair out of his eyes.

I was three years old; I didn’t.

“I’m your father.” (“Like he was Darth Vader,” my mother said later, when she told me the story.)

“I’m one of the most important people you will ever know,” he said.

Tags: Apple   books   Lisa Brennan-Jobs   Small Fry   Steve Jobs
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DMack
5 days ago
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the only thing apple didn't claim to create
Victoria, BC
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the army: forbidden from jacking off. ~99% kill shot rate the mafia: encouraged to jack off. cant kill guys unless theyre tied to chairs

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the army: forbidden from jacking off. ~99% kill shot rate
the mafia: encouraged to jack off. cant kill guys unless theyre tied to chairs


Posted by dril on Saturday, August 4th, 2018 2:46am


24184 likes, 3876 retweets
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DMack
8 days ago
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Victoria, BC
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My horse is a god damn weed dealer. How did this even happen?

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My horse is a god damn weed dealer. How did this even happen?


Posted by HEADLINERTRON on Wednesday, August 1st, 2018 2:00pm


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DMack
10 days ago
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horse_ebooks:2018
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Photo

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DMack
10 days ago
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Victoria, BC
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MotherHydra
7 days ago
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Laughed way too hard at this.
Space City, USA

every one on this web site is this guy pic.twitter.com/ybaUQKdA7o

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every one on this web site is this guy pic.twitter.com/ybaUQKdA7o




Posted by dril on Thursday, August 2nd, 2018 3:32am


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DMack
12 days ago
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