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The FCC may finally admit that 4Mbps doesn’t count as ‘broadband’ anymore

Updated May 31st, 2014 6:51PM EDT
How Is Broadband Speed Defined

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When companies like Comcast talk about all of the intense “competition” they face in the broadband market, chances are they’re talking either about competition from mobile carriers that have capped data plans or from 5Mbps DSL services that are no longer adequate to meet our needs in the age of Netflix streaming. However, The Washington Post reports that the Federal Communications Commission is finally looking into changing its antiquated definition of broadband, which now stands at any Internet service that delivers download speeds of 4Mbps or higher.

Apparently the FCC is planning to solicit public comments soon about whether the baseline for what constitutes broadband should be raised anywhere from 10Mbps up to 25Mbps. The commission will also apparently ask “whether the FCC should adopt a tiered set of definitions to account for varying speeds in different regions or during different times of day.”

No matter what, it’s good that the FCC is at least considering upping its standards for what it considers broadband. As video streaming over the web becomes more popular and as 4K TVs slowly become more affordable to the average consumer, a 5Mbps connection will soon seem as fast as dial-up.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.