FCC: "Broadband" now means 4Mb/s down, 1Mb/s up

By on July 23, 2010, 2:50 PM
Continuing its push to deliver high-speed Internet to Americans, the FCC has redefined what constitutes a "broadband" connection. For more than a decade, download rates of 200Kb/s or better qualified as a broadband service, but that benchmark has been substantially increased to 4Mb/s downstream and 1Mb/s upstream. The commission believes those are minimum speeds essential for using today's "video-rich broadband applications and services, while retaining sufficient capacity for basic web browsing and email."

It's estimated between 14 and 24 million people across 39 US states (4.5% to 8% of the nation's population) lack access to high-speed Internet and that's not about to change overnight, the FCC said in a recent broadband deployment report (PDF). Most of those citizens reside in "expensive-to-serve areas with low population density," and they will continue to be unserved without substantial reforms to the agency's universal service programs.

The FCC also said that many Americans only have the choice between one and three Internet providers because large operators have conspired to squash smaller competitors. Telecom companies and backers refuted the agency's findings, labeling the report inaccurate and confusing.




User Comments: 24

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TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

So I guess companies can't label any connection now "Broadband" unless it meets those requirement? But I guess they can still call it "Highspeed" internet.

Although by those terms I guess I no longer have "Broadband" b/c I don't think I meet the 1mpbs speed for the upload at home. Think I only hit in about 512kpbs upload.

Renrew Renrew said:

Why do we allow ourselves to be browbeaten into a third world expensive internet system? Can you say greed and Monopolies.

The FCC for once called it correctly, now let's see if the Politicos can keep their hands out of the pockets of the Consumers long enough to encourage more Competition. ( I won't hold my breath)

KG363 KG363 said:

I have 18mbs down bot only like 1.25-1.5mbps up. Soon, I won't have broadband :'(

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Well I am playing for 30mb/s down and 10mb/s up that's it. There is 50mb/s down and 10mb/s up and that cost so much more and to me it's not worth the additional $30 bucks for it.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

I pay $60 a month for 6Mbps down 512kbps up. Pretty sad. Especially since there is a university here with very fast speeds.

princeton princeton said:

512kbps down 128kbps upload. Stop complaining and bring this broadband push to Canada.

motrin said:

i have 50kbps down (on a good day) and 7~kbps up.

"expensive-to-serve areas with low population density," describes my situation quite well.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

I pay $60 a month for 6Mbps down 512kbps up. Pretty sad. Especially since there is a university here with very fast speeds.

Wow! That's expensive! That's the price of the 50mb/s down and 10mb/s up I was quoted this year.

tengeta tengeta said:

I still don't care, I'll pay any amount for an internet thats not government controlled.

JudaZ said:

ha ha ... 4Mb/s??? are they kidding? I think that is defined as slowband

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

512kbps down 128kbps upload. Stop complaining and bring this broadband push to Canada.

I don't know where you live in Canada, but the problem with Canada is that it has more rural area than the US. The rural areas will always be overlooked. My parents live 6 miles north of a town of 2,200 and they can't get anything except dial up and satellite. Satellite is completely unacceptable for the cost vs benefit. I don't think they'll get broadband for at least another 5 years. There just isn't enough cost/benefit for a DSL company to run it, despite the US gov giving the phone companies billions in the 90s to run fiber everywhere

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

I'm currently paying $140 for a 3.5mbps down/500kbps up connection. It's expensive and not very speedy compared to others' truly phenomenal 100/100 connections (damn you, Per! ) but I know it could be way worse.

Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

Haha Julio, somewhat jealous of my 100/100 connection at $47 or £30 ? :P

I still had it way worse than you tho, dialup well into the millennium...

Take this for example, look at post date too

[link]

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

@Per True, very true... I do recall your "let's climb a tree to get faster net access" days.

princeton princeton said:

Here's canadas prices. BTW I live in Kitchener Ontario.

[link]

50mb down 2mb up is $100 a month.

achromicia said:

Well 90% of Australia no longer has Broadband. The majority of connections here are 1.5mb/s down and 256kb/s up.

Guest said:

I get 90k max down and about half that up. I'm living on a beach on an island in a third world country. The reason its so slow is because it wireless. It costs about $20 a month. The irony is I'm an American and the rural place I moved from in Ky. only had dial up.

Guest said:

Hughes.net charges us thousands of dollars a year they they are the ONLY provider available to us in New York. We upload at 0.08mb/sec and download at 0.30mb/sec....hardly dial up speed, in fact often we abandon our "broadband" and use dial up for faster speeds. Hughes.net has a monopoly in our area and NO OTHER PROVIDER is allow to service us - no competition means hughes.net robs us. The government can't help us in New York fast enough, especially since we travel to 3rd world countries and get better service than we get in New York.

Guest said:

I live in Alaska and ACS DSL Service offers 3MBps as a maximum for about $100 a month. I miss the days when I was in the Azores where I had a 24MBps for only 50 Euro ($75) a month.

windmill007 said:

I guess verizon DSL isnt' broadband anymore. I have there highest spped avaialble in my area 3MB Down and 756K Up... I think they offer 7MB in very limited areas but still slow upload. Come on Verizon!

treetops treetops said:

Good maybe now my internet provider will increase there speeds so they will be considered broadband.

TJGeezer said:

tengeta said:

I still don't care, I'll pay any amount for an internet thats not government controlled.

Got lots of telecom or cable stock, do you? If not - what's your personal stake in hiking the profits of monopolies or at least huge corporations? Just curious.

tengeta tengeta said:

TJGeezer said:

tengeta said:

I still don't care, I'll pay any amount for an internet thats not government controlled.

Got lots of telecom or cable stock, do you? If not - what's your personal stake in hiking the profits of monopolies or at least huge corporations? Just curious.

I hold stock in nothing, and make less than 30k a year. My reasoning is that a corrupt company will eventually sell the info to the highest buyer (which advertisers will always outbid the government, I'd rather they get it), whereas a corrupt government could take and use any information as it sees fit. I simply don't support government control, its called oversight, not overtake.

Guest said:

Ouch, is Europe prices seem to be fair looking at the $-prices mentioned here.

In Holland I pay 25euro (aprox. $40) for a 1,5mbps/256kbps DSL-line.

Compared to alot of other people this is too much (but the service is great, so I keep it).

For about 30euro ($45) I can get 20mbps/1mbps "ADSL-2".

This is theoretical and will be arounf 8 - 16mbps.

Last month they put a fiber line to the home (called ftth) in my appartment.

Now I can get 30mbps "including TV/telephone" (45euro/$65), 50mbps (50euro/$75) or 100mbps (100euro/$150).

So I'm not gonna complain.

But still I don't need that extra bandwidth at the moment and stick to the ADSL-1 line which is no longer called Broadband accoring US standards :-)

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