The last time the Federal Communications Commission updated its definition for high speed internet, Mad Men always aired new episodes on television. The agency’s minimum bandwidth speeds – 25 megabits per second for upload and 3 megabits per second for upload – just aren’t enough in 2021 to meet the needs of many small businesses, which is why a dog Government Guard says it is calling on regulators to revise those standards.
In a published report Thursday, the United States Government Accountability Office said that “much of the literature” it reviewed indicates that the current FCC minimum reference speeds “are likely too slow to meet the speed needs of many. small enterprises “. He came to this conclusion after speaking with several small business owners nationwide and analyzing statistics from the US Census Bureau and broadband deployment data from the FCC.
A worrying number told GAO they are not even getting the minimum speeds currently required by the FCC. A Vermont inn and spa owner said she was paying $ 78 per month for 10 Mbps download speed, and would have to shell out $ 335 per month to upgrade to a plan with speed download speed of 40 Mbps. And just because you to have high-speed internet access does not necessarily mean that the access is reliable. A small business owner who works from her home in rural Virginia said that whenever it rains, she can expect her broadband service to go down. Another Iowa resident said he had to pay more than $ 350 a month for two satellite accounts and a wireless hotspot to get service reliable enough to run his business.
Reports from small businesses show that many want a download speed of at least 100 Mbps to run their operations more efficiently. According to FCC data, about 67 percent of rural Americans have access to 100 Mbps / 10 Mbps uplink speeds, compared to about 83 percent with access to the agency’s current minimum benchmark.
“FCC officials said they were not aware of any small business requirements that would have been taken into account in determining the minimum speed benchmark,” the GAO wrote. “Analyzing the speed requirements of small businesses could help inform the FCC’s determination of the benchmark speed for broadband. “
According to Thursday’s report, the FCC accepted its recommendation to seek stakeholder feedback and analyze the broadband speed needs of small businesses in order to reassess federal minimum benchmark speeds.
While the GAO recommendation focuses specifically on small businesses, consumers would also likely see positive impacts from the modernization of the FCC’s definition of broadband Internet access. Those who live in the deserts of the Internet would benefit from faster connections and a more reliable service, improving both their streaming and downloading media experience during their downtime as well as their ability to work from home at home. a time when more businesses than ever are remote-first strategies in response to the covid-19 pandemic.