Plans for the global modernization of network infrastructure in the United States – let’s figure out what’s what

3 min


American ISPs are among the most expensive and bandwidth is among the lowest. We will tell you what led to this state of affairs in the United States.


/ CC BY / Tony webster

Rule “25/3”

In 2018, the United States lifted net neutrality rules. Since then, IT companies sue to the federal government, and some states like Washington, California and Vermont they even introduce net neutrality at the local level, trying to unfold the situation in the country.

The outcome of such processes largely depends on the bureaucratic procedures established by government agencies such as the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In particular, it was the FCC that canceled net neutrality. Also, the experts of this commission determine the parameters of broadband communications. They establish bandwidth, which indicates whether the user has high-speed Internet access.

The latter metric has already become a source of absurd situations. Now in the United States operates rule “25/3”, according to which a broadband connection is a channel in 25 Mbps with unloading in 3 Mbps… So, in their latest report, representatives of the commission notedthat all residents of the country have high-speed Internet access, although in reality its quality is questionable.

What we write about on Habré:

  • The transition to IPv6 could take another ten years
  • Replacing TCP: a discussion of the QUIC protocol
  • Submarine internet cables: who is laying them

Civil society organizations talk about the need to increase thresholds and call for a “refresh” of the standard. But the commission’s work suggests that this is not a quick process. Since 2010 in the country acted the rule is “4/1”, and it was updated to the level “25/3” only in 2015.

Who is against

It is believed that the regulator is not revising the standard in the interests of large telecommunications companies. At the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) celebratethat the metric masks market monopolization and Internet access problems in remote regions of the United States.

Analysts from the Open Technology Institute conducted a study and have establishedthat the services of Internet providers in the United States are among the most expensive and slowest among the developed countries. The average actual download speed is only 15 Mbps. For comparison, in Europe this figure is 40 Mbit / s, and in Asia – 500 Mbit / s.


/ Unsplash / Pascal van de Vendel

To remedy the situation, in the EFF offer The FCC update the definition of broadband internet approximately every two to three years. Moreover, the assessment must be based on open data on user habits. So the standard will advise the growth of consumption of Internet services in the country, and providers will have an incentive to develop infrastructure and offer better services to customers. Some FCC members already act for increasing the threshold from 25 to 100 Mbps.

What to do

Of course, it is not enough to simply change the definition of broadband internet to increase the connection speed for users. Individual members of the government are taking steps to modernize the US network infrastructure globally. Democratic Secretary James Clyburn introduced for consideration a bill Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act… It initiates national migration to gigabit networks and is part of a plan to support the population and overcome the crisis.

The project proposes to allocate $ 80 billion for the development of fiber-optic infrastructure in all states. A special body will coordinate the actions of local authorities – Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth… The new act can also abolish the acts of individual states, prohibiting local communities to build their broadband networks.

This is an important point for many people living in remote regions. About 50 million of them cannot change their provider because they have access to the Internet at their place of residence provides just one company. Due to the lack of competition, they are forced to overpay for services of not the highest quality. New infrastructure can help solve this problem.

In the EFF saythat without the new law, the transition to gigabit networks in the United States could take several decades. But if adopted, it will also accelerate the adoption of next-generation Wi-Fi and 5G.

About the work of Internet providers in our corporate blog:


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