March 2015, Vol. 70, No. 3


FTTH Responds To FCC’s Definition Of Broadband

On Jan. 29, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued its 2015 Broadband Progress Report stating that broadband deployment is failing to keep pace with today’s advanced, high-quality voice, data, graphics and video offerings.

Finding that the 4 megabits per second (Mbps) down/1Mbps up set in 2010 is inadequate, the Commission raised the standard to 25Mbps down/3Mbps up.

Using this updated service benchmark, the 2015 report finds that 55 million Americans – 17 percent of the population – lack access to advanced broadband. Moreover, a significant digital divide remains between urban and rural America: over half of all rural Americans lack access to 25 Mbps/3 Mbps service.

The divide is still greater on Tribal lands and in U.S. territories, where nearly two-thirds of residents lack access to today’s speeds. And 35 percent of schools across the nation still lack access to fiber networks capable of delivering the advanced broadband required to support today’s digital-learning tools.

While significant progress in broadband deployment has been made, due in part to the Commission’s action to support broadband through its Universal Service programs, these advances are not occurring broadly enough or quickly enough, the report finds. The report concludes that more work needs to be done by the private and public sectors to expand robust broadband to all Americans in a timely way, and the accompanying Notice of Inquiry seeks comment on what additional steps the FCC can take to accelerate broadband deployment.

The Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Council Americas issued a statement in response to the FCC report. The following statement may be attributed to Heather Burnett Gold, FTTH president:

This move was anticipated last September when the FCC issued its 10th Notice of Inquiry on Broadband Deployment. In our comments, the FTTH Council, while acknowledging the need for higher standards, underscored to the Commission that the U.S. is well past the point when setting a speed benchmark is useful to broadband investment and deployment. We argued then and continue to believe that what Chairman Wheeler and the FCC can do with regard to speed is to use it to hasten this country’s transition to faster, more robust and scalable broadband networks supported by all-fiber technology.

Only all-fiber networks are infinitely scalable – they will grow to meet any bandwidth demands. Given that speeds are increasing substantially and will continue to increase in response to demands from consumers, applications and services, the time has come for the Commission to double-down and focus on hastening the deployment of fiber through pro-investment, pro-competition policies that don’t get hung up on just another number, nor create the need for continual re-investment. With all fiber, you build it once – build it right.

From Archive


{{ error }}
{{ comment.comment.Name }} • {{ comment.timeAgo }}
{{ comment.comment.Text }}