The Senate is looking to completely redefine what broadband internet means when it comes to the speeds your ISP is offering you. A definition that is well due for an update as speeds rise across the board, including cellular thanks to the capabilities of 5G.
Senate’s proposed update could redefine the starting rate for broadband to a minimum of 100mbps both ways (both down and upstream). Leaving anything below that as something that could no longer be advertised as high-speed broadband internet. A rate that has been 25mbps (down) and 3mbps (up) for some time now.
As many (major) ISPs are already offering download packages far greater than 100mbps, this isn’t much of a change outside of their starter package generally. There are other companies still catching up around the nation, but 100mbps+ simply seems like a standard these days.
However, this completely changes when you consider your upload speeds. Having 100mbps upload would be significantly higher than what most are used to receiving anywhere. The average upload is still 3-25mbps across most ISPs in the market. This would make for a wonderful enhancement for technology around the home during times where so many are stuck inside with schooling or working over the internet. Meanwhile, wireless security camera solutions are swiftly approaching 4K as well as those webcams used for video conferencing, and more and more devices are becoming connected that can be accessed remotely for data or control.
With everything going on in tech-busy homes, upload speeds can be eaten up pretty quickly. Even with gigabit internet packages since the upload caps generally don’t change much (if at all) from the other package options.
ISPs will likely fight this one since their infrastructures typically aren’t capable of delivering a huge increase of upstream bandwidth, which means the various nodes on their network can be bogged down quickly if everyone in your neighborhood is putting pressure on it (via heavy upload activity).
Of course, this won’t just be pressure placed on the ISPs as there will likely be grants and other forms of kickbacks for upgrades made on these networks. There will require a lot of communication and efforts to make it all happen, and hopefully, it does. This would make for such a wonderful enhancement to the broadband services we all pay for.
Just make sure to remember that no matter what they increase the down or upstream speeds to, they will always push for a monthly bandwidth cap. Which will likely remain the same. So the fast the speed, the quicker you’ll hit that cap.
Also, the Senate doesn’t actually make these definitions. They are simply looking to put pressure and attention on the agencies that do (ie, FCC).