The FCC will now require companies getting money from the Connect America Fund (CAF) for their broadband buildouts to deliver speeds of at least 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream. Previously the speed minimum was 4/1, in line with the FCC's previous definition of high speed.
That came in a vote Thursday (Dec. 11) on updating the CAF, which is the FCC's migration of Universal Service Fund subsidies for hard-to-reach or uneconomical-to-reach rural areas from telephone service to broadband.
The FCC in 2011 began the transition to broadband support and now says it will make $1.8 billion in support to larger-price cap-carriers if they are willing to deliver the new speed. They get first dibs, after which competitive carriers will have an opportunity to bid on the business in those carriers' service areas.