FCC Commissioner believes fast internet is a novelty

While many parts of the world consider high-speed internet access a human right at this point, with all of the connective benefits it has, that's not necessarily the case here in the U.S.. The Commissioner of the FCC doesn't see it as a necessity, or even something that many people should strive for. It's a "novelty," as far as he's concerned.

"The outcry for things like ultra high-speed service in certain areas means longer waits for those who have no access or still rely on dial-up service, as providers rush to serve the denser and more profitable areas that seek upgrades to this level," new FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly said (via PCG). "Today, ultra-fast residential service is a novelty and good for marketing, but the tiny percentage of people using it cannot drive our policy decisions."

O'Rielly has shown a disinterest in expanding access to high-speed internet before. When given the chance to raise the base-level speed offerings across the country to 25Mbps download and 3Mbps upload, he voted against it. He said that since 4K content wouldn't become mainstream for a while yet, it wasn't a priority.

That discounts the chicken and egg scenario faced by that new format, as without high-speed internet nobody would be able to adopt 4K viewing.

Moving forward, he wants the industry to regulate itself and encourage competition, rather than see the government weigh in on offerings. This, despite the fact that many markets are faced with terrible broadband offerings from only one company, with no way to fight for an alternative or better service.

What kind of internet offerings do you have in your local area?

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I think every first world

I think every first world country except Japan has this problem. In Spain, in a touristic town, mega-city and alike you can get 10mbs download and 300kbs upload on a basic line with the most popular provider which is telefonica. There are many more providers and you can easily bump that up even paying less or more. In not so popular places it can be bad, not terrible but bad. For example, paying telefonica for the basic line, the same anyone would pay in a large city or touristic town, you might get 1mbs download and 100kbs upload more or less. Other providers cant deal with you for their offers because telefonica owns every line and they actually rent the use of their lines to other providers. So, if telefonica cant give you the speeds, nobody using land lines will. If you get out of that very same town in the example, lets say you go to your country house at about 2km from your town house, that basic line with degrade to about 300kbs download and 50kbs upload, of course with the same price. We do have solutions though, pretty cheap satellite high speed connections for these areas, they even get less expensive than the basic line and give you perfectly a symetric 3mbs download and upload, which isnt bad at all. You do have to invest more with the hardware and dont have a telefonica technic running around every place giving support in less than 3 days. Its true that the less regulation a market has, the more competition you will find and just competition at it but its also true that there is little reason to invest outside of certain locations in the short run without the system telling the companies its either that or nothing. You really need to have a special kind of person in charge of a company to get that out of the board and many are pretty confortable with what they win in Spain and actually think its better to invest in bringing lines outside of the country. Do I bump the speed for a few towns in a province or use that money to actually bring internet to a few towns outside of Spain as in South America? Looking at it this way, you win more on the short run getting internet where there is none as a few towns in South America; possible the mid run as well. So thats what they do, instead of investing in Spain outside of the important locations; they invest in other countries building an even larger company and winning more.

Sounds like the same boat different country

Hey Since when did Kermit the Frog get a position at the FCC? I'm in Australia and this sort issue is a ongoing here, our previous Labor party government was all for a national standard broadband with fibre up to 100mps as top end speed. As the project was starting to gain momentum our government changed to a Liberal party government (due to the election) and the new government decided that we all didn't need fast internet, put most of the project on hold and then decided to reduce the top goal speed down to about 25mps with fibre to the node then adsl from node to premise. Now the project is moving at a slow pace finishing parts of the project that have been started and very few new sites are being added, Don't get me wrong I struggle with ADSL2 4mps connection when some don't even have that in Australia, but within a 1000 meters of my premises people are enjoying the option of up to 100mps in the same city as me.

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