FCC Looks to Increase Minimum Broadband Speeds

Raise your hand if you’ve been personally victimised by slow Internet? This is a daily occurrence in my home, as we have two adults working full-time and a tween doing homework online.

Did you know that Australia doesn’t have minimum performance standards for telecommunications? I didn’t, but it certainly makes sense of my experience.

This article from Mark Gregory at Innovation Aus. clearly highlights that the needs of Internet users (that’s you and me) have “long surpassed the FCC’s 25/3 speed metric.” This situation was, of course, exacerbated during the pandemic, when so many of us were stuck inside and working/learning from home.

The standard for minimum broadband speeds needs to be raised. In order to meet current and future Internet usage requirements, Gregory, an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering at RMIT University, calls for an increase in speeds to 100/20 Mbps, with networks built that are capable of being upgraded.

I don’t know about you, but those numbers up there? I don’t actually understand them… But I don’t have to: my daily lived experience is that our current NBN is failing me, and now I know that it falls very far short of the FCC’s recommended minimum speed standard.

Gregory also calls for a review of our telecommunications market, “as it is clearly evident that Australian consumers are not being provided with a reasonable service at affordable prices.” He and I both question why this is so, and wait to see what our government will do to address the matter.