New minimum speed for US broadband connections

Fred Baker fredbaker.ietf at
Sun May 30 06:53:17 UTC 2021

On May 28, 2021, at 11:55 AM, Chris Adams <cma at> wrote:
> I know multiple people that had issues with slow Internet during the
> last year as two adults were working from home and 1-3 children were
> also schooling from home.  Parents had to arrange work calls around
> their kids classroom time and around each other's work calls, because of
> limited bandwidth.

The example that comes to mind is my daughter, who has two kids in elementary school (*elementary*, not high school or college) from home and a husband working from home. The kids will eventually be in person some subset of the time, but they're told to not expect 100%; the hubby is going to be 100% WFH for the foreseeable future. The thing that killed the kids wasn't the absolute bit rate, it was data caps - basically, all the families and the school had to upgrade service to something with a higher cap or education stopped for part of each month - and the school had a contract that supposedly had no cap, but was forced to renegotiate anyway. This isn't out of town, either; it's Walnut Creek California, a few blocks from the BART station.

So, yes, all of that.

I'm watching the conversation and thinking of my experience on the FCC TAC 15 years ago. We had someone from an intentionally-nameless carrier that was fighting minimum broadband rates with everything he had. His statement was that "there is no market above 1 MBPS". In this conversation, I think carriers need to take on board the message that the minimum broadband rate in 2015 might not be adequate in 2021. We can argue the distinction between "has a market" and "is a universal market minimum", but "there is no market above 10 MBPS per user in the home" is a self-limiting discussion.
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