FCC Wants to Speed Up “Broadband”

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The Federal Communications Commission is considering changing its official definition of the term “broadband” from 4 Mb/s to 10 Mb/s (download speed), although current broadband providers like the cable and telco industries argue that most Internet users in the U.S. get by just fine at 4 Mb/s.

The National Cable Television Association wrote to the commission: “The Commission should not change the baseline broadband speed threshold from 4 Mb/s downstream and 1 Mb/s upstream because a 4/1 Mb/s connection is still sufficient to perform the primary functions identified in section 706 [of the Telecommunications Act]—high-quality voice, video and data.”

The FCC has periodically raised the minimum standard for an Internet service to be considered “broadband.” In 2010 the commission changed its definition of minimum broadband speeds from 200 Kb/s downstream to 4 Mb/s downstream and 1 Mb/s upstream.