Bennet, King, Portman, Manchin Applaud FCC’s Proposed Broadband Standard

The New Proposed 100 Mbps Definition of Broadband Comes After Bennet Urged Administration to Learn from Pandemic and Establish a Consistent, 21st-Century Definition of High-Speed Broadband

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Angus King (I-Maine), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today applauded the FCC’s proposal to redefine broadband connections as 100 megabits (Mbps) per second or faster for download speeds, enabling American families to access connections that meet the needs of modern internet users. Bennet and the senators previously urged the Biden Administration to make this change, replacing the current outdated definition of 25 Mbps for download speeds.

“As rural communities across the country begin to see the massive impacts of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s historic investment in affordable broadband technology, we must make sure everyone has the high-speed connections needed to fully engage in 21st-century life,” wrote Bennet and the senators. “To avoid lagging behind in our increasingly connected world, rural residents need the ability to work remotely, video conference with their loved ones, and access vital services like distance learning or telehealth. The current federal broadband standard of 25 megabits per second download speed has proven to be insufficient for these needs and must be significantly updated to ensure reliable service. We’re glad Chair Rosenworcel has heard our calls to modernize this definition and urge the FCC to finalize their decision on the standard as soon as possible.”

Bennet has helped lead the effort to bridge America’s digital divide. In March 2021, Bennet urged the administration to establish a consistent, 21st-century definition of broadband to reflect modern demands of families, farms, and businesses. In June 2021, Bennet, Senator King, and Senator Portman introduced the BRIDGE Act to deploy affordable, high-speed broadband to unserved communities nationwide. The BRIDGE Act was largely incorporated into the bipartisan infrastructure law to make the single largest investment in high-speed broadband in American history.