Stirring the Pot: Standards and policies matter!

As originally posted in Blandin eNews

The new broadband maps published by the DEED Office of Broadband Development are like a step back in time.  More of Minnesota is considered “unserved” now than previously, breaking a trend that consistently had more Minnesotans covered by adequate broadband over time.  Providers certainly did not shut down services, so what happened?

The FCC defines broadband as 25 MBPS download and 3 MBPS upload, way up from the previous 4/1 standard.  Years ago, the original MN broadband task force set a standard of 10/5.  At the time, that standard was considered reasonable, but challenging.  It is interesting that the FCC standard is 2.5 times the state standard for download, but the state upload standard is almost double the FCC upload standard.

The state broadband task force will be reviewing the state standard this year.  Should the adopt the FCC standard?  Is a step back from the download speed the right direction?  What would be the impact of a 25/10 standard?  What are the cost implications for providers to reach the standard?

Finally, what is going to happen with the CAF2 funding?  Providers will be required to meet a 10/1 standard with those funds.  I hope that someone at the FCC sees the inconsistency of providing funding that does not meet their own broadband standard.

Standards and policies matter!  Let the decision makers and task force members know  how you feel about these standards.

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