NCTA: FCC Should Stick with 25/3 Speed Threshold

NCTA-the Internet & Television Association said the FCC should not increase its baseline definition of high speed broadband above the current 25 Mbps downstream/3 upstream, which it calls "generally sufficient" even in a COVID-19 world.

That came in comments on how the FCC should conduct its FCC's annual Sec. 706 report on whether advanced telecommunications is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion.

NCTA says the FCC should also stick with the 2021 report precedent of looking at year-to-year progress as the best measure of reasonable and timely, as well as the best reading of that statutory language. Previous Democrat-led FCC's concluded it was not reasonable and timely because all Americans still did not have access.

A finding that it is not reasonable nd timely empowers the FCC to regulated to make it so, including potentially through rate regulation, one of the reasons ISPS was it to remain a year-to-year comparison as it has been under Republican chairman Ajit Pai.

As to speed, NCTA said 25/3 still satisfies the statutory definition of "advanced telecommunications."

"A 25/3 connection unquestionably “enables users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video telecommunications," said NCTA. "In particular, even as the COVID crisis has caused an exponential increase in the use of video conferencing applications for work, school, and telehealth, it remains the case that a 25/3 connection generally is sufficient to enable such applications."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.