back to article FCC says taxpayer-bankrolled bumpkin broadband must be at least 10Mbps

Good news, hayseeds: the FCC has ruled that rural broadband should be held to the same standard as that of connections in built-up cities and towns. The stateside regulator has issued a new order, which states that in the US countryside, providers must maintain at least a 10Mbit/s downlink speed for subscribers if they want to …

  1. Ole Juul

    Let's hope

    With AT&T and Verizon opposing, this regulation could actually limit expansion. Ten Mbps is a reasonable standard but without the providers on board it's not looking good. Let's hope the government gets even tougher so it will actually happen.

    1. Eddy Ito

      Re: Let's hope

      I don't think it will matter much. Verizon and AT&T have largely pulled out of bumpkin land. Their concern is in that middle ground that has just the right population density for them to make large profits with crap service. It's that group of people who if they find out that the average hayseed has two or three times the service they do at similar rates that will be storming the gates with pitchforks raised demanding equal service.

      As it is, in the past five years I've lived in two places with population densities about 150 people per square mile and one over 8,000/sq. mi. and my internet speeds in those low population density areas were better than what it is currently in the higher density region (shockingly today is exceptionally good at 4 Mbps down 0.25 Mbps up which is a considerable improvement over the typical 2.5-3Mbps/150-190kbps). Perhaps unsurprisingly, Verizon only sold wireless services in those two rural areas and are my current provider (yes, believe it or not the other option, TWC, is even slower).

      1. trapper

        Re: Let's hope

        One year ago I lived in a city with a population of 396K. I had AT&T DSL service, the fastest they had available. It was verified 4.7 Mbps down, 1.2 up. It cost $35/month. I could theoretically have paid for faster service, but two different installers told me that my area infrastructure would not actually support any faster speed. Today I live in a bumpkin township, population 8.5K, and have Time-Warner cable internet. I pay $60/month for verified 30-32 Mbps down, 5.7 Mbps up. So, for 1.4 times the money I get at least 6.4 times the download speed. And oh yes, I used my own modem and router - no rental. If AT&T cries, I'm deaf to it.

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  3. Mike 16 Silver badge


    Is that actual, measurable, consistent 10Mbps, or Comcast-style "Up to 10Mbps" which is more of a "speed of light" (guaranteed not to exceed) number? I have very rarely seen more than half the claimed bandwidth from Comcast, and never for more than a few seconds.

    1. joed

      Re: 10Mbps?

      Don't complain, mine is a steady 3.7Mbps. At almost 40$ a month this surely is a "bargain".

  4. bobcat1911


    Big deal, take away the FAP caps rural broadband has and then, I would be the same as my city dwelling counterparts.

  5. jrjr

    Wait a minute. I live in a city. I pay for broadband.

    My speedtest just told me I have a download speed of 3 Mbps.

    Not 10, not 4: 3 Mbps. How does that fly?

    1. BongoJoe

      "How does that fly?"

      Slowly. It seems.

      Alas, I dream of 3 Mb/s...

  6. William Donelson

    God forbid any bumpkin members of Parliament should have to live with slow broadband. Typical solution: Screw the Taxpayers.

  7. Steven Jones

    What's in a name...

    So they won't call it broadband. Simple.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: What's in a name...

      The point, which was explained pretty clearly in the article, is that there are government subsidies for rolling out service if they meet the "broadband" requirements.

  8. Delta-Dude

    Country Bumpkin Broadband

    My e-mail response to the FCC -

    Subj. FCC Rural Broadband Speed Increase – Dec. 11, 2014

    There is absolutely no way I can support the proposal to increase rural broadband speeds to 10 Mbps. I consider your current direction and emphasis totally inappropriate.

    Quite simply, from a technical perspective, your emphasis needs to represent a laser focus on getting rid of 100 year old, twisted copper pair, outside cable plant to be replaced with fiber optics. Consider the following graph -

    Without totally getting rid of copper cabling and some flavor of DSL transmission, moving from 4 Mbps to 10 Mbps is going accomplish exactly what? Promote more FTTN installs which only extends an already impossible problem?

    Want to see the exact problem promoted by YOUR funding of incumbent providers? Go here -

    This represents a total waste of taxpayer money in my view. Want to see what should be totally funded? Go here -

    Do you understand how totally ridiculous the above document makes your efforts look? If you don't understand what you are looking at, why don't you consider taking a few courses in large system fiber optic design.

    In the spirit of full disclosure, I have approximately 35 years experience in telecommunications, 25 in the field of large fiber system design (now retired). I've never worked for an incumbent telecommunications company.

    BTW – Come January, I've been waiting some 17 years for a reasonable connection to the Internet.

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