I no longer have access to broadband at home according to the Federal Communications Commission. As part of its 2015 Broadband Progress report, the FCC has voted 3-2 to drastically raise the minimum connection speeds required to classify as broadband.
Up to this point, the minimum classification for broadband was just 4Mbps down / 1Mbps up which was set in 2010. That’s since been adjusted to 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up. To put the changes into perspective, the average home connection in the US pulls down around 11Mbps.
Under the old guidelines, 6.3 percent of US households didn’t have access to broadband. Following the change, that number skyrockets to 17 percent which is rather embarrassing.
So, what happens next?
ISPs were already up in arms over the proposed change. Their stance is that some customers simply don’t need 25Mbps connections. That’s certainly debatable but the FCC believes customers should at least have the opportunity to own a broadband connection if they want.
Here’s the thing: ISPs will no longer be able to classify services under 25Mbps / 3Mbps as broadband. For some like AT&T, that’ll do a number on their marketing as people will naturally perceive a service as being slow if it’s not classified as broadband.
For the consumer, it’s really a win-win as the reclassification will no doubt boost competition among ISPs. I can’t think of many people that would argue with faster connection speeds for the same price.