Ajit Pai-proposed upgrade to 25Mbps starts paying off for rural ISPs

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More than 106,000 rural homes and small businesses in 43 states will get access to 25 megabit per second (Mbps) broadband at some point in the next decade thanks to a Federal Communications Commission policy change. The FCC's Connect America Fund (CAF), which distributes money to internet service providers (ISPs) in exchange for new broadband deployments in underserved areas, had been requiring speeds of just 10Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream over the past few years. But FCC Chairman Ajit Pai led a vote in Dec 2018 to raise the standard for new CAF projects to 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up. 

On April 29, the FCC announced that its Dec 2018 vote is leading to tangible results: 186 Internet providers accepted a total of $65.7 million in additional annual funding and "committed to deploying 25/3Mbps service to 106,365 homes and small businesses that would have otherwise only received slower 10/1Mbps service." Carriers had previously committed to deploy 25Mbps/3Mbps in 334,443 locations, so the additional locations announced April 29 brings the total to 440,808. It'll take nearly a full decade for all those homes and businesses to get the service. Under the funding terms, the FCC said ISPs "must deploy 25/3Mbps service to 40 percent of locations by end of the 2022, and increase deployment by 10 percent annually until buildout is complete at the end of 2028."

Ajit Pai-proposed upgrade to 25Mbps starts paying off for rural ISPs Rural internet to get a boost in speed (RCR Wireless News)