FCC says broadband-class connections must offer at least 25Mbps download speeds

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2015
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Thursday took a step toward improving Internet speeds in America, requiring providers to offer download speeds of at least 25 megabits per second to classify as "broadband."

FCC Speed Test


The new restrictions also require 3Mbps speeds for uploads to classify as broadband Internet. Internet service providers face the more severe restrictions after the FCC determined that U.S. broadband deployment is not keeping pace with the rest of the world.

The new benchmark speeds are a large improvement from the previous requirement of 4Mbps download and 1Mbps upload to classify as broadband. The FCC said that the new speeds reflect both consumer demand and advances in technology.

The FCC's 2015 Broadband Progress Report found that 55 million Americans, or 17 percent of the population, lacks access to advanced broadband. Things are even worse in rural America, where more than half the population --?53 percent -- doesn't have access to the newly set standard.

Finally, the FCC found that 35 percent of schools lack access to fiber optic Internet, which prevents access to the FCC benchmark of 100Mbps per 1,000 users. The FCC has a longer-term educational goal of 1Gbps per 1,000 users.

The report found that advances in broadband are not occurring broadly or quickly enough. It concludes that more work needs to be done, both in the private and public sectors, and has issued a Notice of Inquiry seeking comment on what the FCC can do to accelerate broadband deployment.

The FCC is required to report annually on whether broadband is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 states that if it is not, "immediate action" is required.

Of course, Internet speeds are of great interest not only to consumers, but also to content providers like Apple, who can be hamstrung when trying to provide high-definition video content, music, apps, software updates and otherwise to users who have a poor Internet connection.

To help test broadband speeds throughout the country, the FCC released a speed test app for iOS a year ago. Using the application provides the Commission with instant feedback on network health, and aggregates anonymized speed and location data to maintain a nationwide performance map.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 85
    kent909kent909 Posts: 709member
    Oh good, now my provider has an excuse to raise my rates.
  • Reply 2 of 85
    kent909 wrote: »
    Oh good, now my provider has an excuse to raise my rates.

    They have never had trouble creating their own reasons.

    This is a good thing. It would be easy to overstate how good it is, and much of that will depend on the extent to which this change is tied to regulation and policy, but it is important for this definition to keep pace with technology advancements.
  • Reply 3 of 85
    The screenshots accompanying this article confound me. An iPhone running an FCC Speed Test app (FCC is an American entity) on the vodafone UK network's "closest target" is New York?
  • Reply 4 of 85
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,215member
    kent909 wrote: »
    Oh good, now my provider has an excuse to raise my rates.

    Explain the logic there I must be missing something. If you say, you only had 15 Mb/s and the cable company was billing you as having 'broadband' before this change, then that would surely be a reason for users to demand either an increase to at least 25 Mb/s at the same price or get a price cut. I am trying to think of a scenario that fits your interpretation.
  • Reply 5 of 85
    kent909kent909 Posts: 709member
    Explain the logic there I must be missing something. If you say, you only had 15 Mb/s and the cable company was billing you as having 'broadband' before this change, then that would surely be a reason for users to demand either an increase to at least 25 Mb/s at the same price or get a price cut. I am trying to think of a scenario that fits your interpretation.
    So you believe that those who do not get the new definition of broadband will not see a price increase if they ask for 25mbs. I have never been given a speed increase that I asked for that was given at no charge. If you have, congrats to you. All this will require an infrastuture update somewhere, and who do you think is going to pay for that?
  • Reply 6 of 85
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Well that's barely regulated monopolies for you.
  • Reply 7 of 85
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post





    Explain the logic there I must be missing something. If you say, you only had 15 Mb/s and the cable company was billing you as having 'broadband' before this change, then that would surely be a reason for users to demand either an increase to at least 25 Mb/s at the same price or get a price cut. I am trying to think of a scenario that fits your interpretation.

    I think the idea is something along the lines of the cable company saying, "Look, your speed was 15 Mbps and now it's 25 Mbps! That's a 66% increase, so your cost is going up 40% - what a steal!" In other words, the cable company will divert attention away from the word broadband and what the standard is, and to the masses who don't always hear about things like this, they'll make it seem like it's the cable company's idea.

  • Reply 8 of 85
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kent909 View Post





    So you believe that those who do not get the new definition of broadband will not see a price increase if they ask for 25mbs. I have never been given a speed increase that I asked for that was given at no charge. If you have, congrats to you. All this will require an infrastuture update somewhere, and who do you think is going to pay for that?

    No one is requiring them to market their service as "broadband."

  • Reply 9 of 85
    frankiefrankie Posts: 371member

    They'll continue to rape us as long as possible for as much as possible, and buy the gov't to let them.

  • Reply 10 of 85
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post

     

    No one is requiring them to market their service as "broadband."


    That's right. Just about every provider in my area has used the term "high-speed Internet" for years now.

  • Reply 11 of 85
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,595member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zroger73 View Post

     

    That's right. Just about every provider in my area has used the term "high-speed Internet" for years now.


    Does any provider? The term 'Broadband' seems so ... quaint.

  • Reply 12 of 85
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post



     An iPhone running an FCC Speed Test app (FCC is an American entity) on the vodafone UK network's "closest target" is New York?

     

    The FCC Speed Test app's servers suck, probably intentionally. I barely get 35 Mbps at work, where Ookla Speedtest.net easily hits 90+.

     

    While everybody's bashing US broadband and calling for Government Bell, I'll just point out that the US leads the world in IPv6 and LTE deployments.

  • Reply 13 of 85
    I don't get the ISP hatred, I have Optimum (Cablevision) and pay $65/mo for 100/50 service- it let me cut cable and now I stream everything like millions of others already do. Just $65, how can I complain? They've been great!
  • Reply 14 of 85
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by konqerror View Post

     

    While everybody's bashing US broadband and calling for Government Bell, I'll just point out that the US leads the world in IPv6 and LTE deployments.


    Really? What causes you to believe that?

  • Reply 15 of 85
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    I was excited about this news until I read that te mandate is to use the word "broadband"...

    The average joe doesn't care, so neither will the providers.
  • Reply 16 of 85
    joshajosha Posts: 901member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kent909 View Post



    Oh good, now my provider has an excuse to raise my rates.



    That's my first concern, I'm sure they will take advantage of a chance to raise my rate.

    I don't need faster than my current 6 mbps. I only will if I switch from cable TV to over my phone line.

    My cable provider now has 25mbps at non busy times.

     Now I'll be getting increasng spam marketing phone calls  from each offering me a great rate for 3 to 6 months.

  • Reply 17 of 85
    pfisherpfisher Posts: 758member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post

     

    I think the idea is something along the lines of the cable company saying, "Look, your speed was 15 Mbps and now it's 25 Mbps! That's a 66% increase, so your cost is going up 40% - what a steal!" In other words, the cable company will divert attention away from the word broadband and what the standard is, and to the masses who don't always hear about things like this, they'll make it seem like it's the cable company's idea.




    Yeah. Well, we get 15/5 speeds. I consider that high-speed. Works for us. We can download fast and watch Netflix in HD on FIOS.

     

    Prices will go up if this happens. Certainly will.

  • Reply 18 of 85
    joshajosha Posts: 901member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post




    This is a good thing. It would be easy to overstate how good it is, and much of that will depend on the extent to which this change is tied to regulation and policy, but it is important for this definition to keep pace with technology advancements.

    This is only good for those who need that speed.

    The 25% of that speed we now have does all we need.

  • Reply 19 of 85
    joshajosha Posts: 901member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by konqerror View Post

     

     

    The FCC Speed Test app's servers suck, probably intentionally to push Obama's agenda. I barely get 35 Mbps at work, where Ookla Speedtest.net easily hits 90+.

     

    While everybody's bashing US broadband and calling for Government Bell, I'll just point out that the US leads the world in IPv6 and LTE deployments.




    Having and selling  high speeds is one thing, but achieving those speeds daytime is another story.

    Daytime wireless speeds are only 15% to 25% of the rating here.  After midnight speeds are what they should be.

    Obviously the networks are overloaded daytime with too many users.

    Thank goodness for WiFi, both at my home and elsewhere.

  • Reply 20 of 85
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member

    I was in Chicago visiting my family for Christmas. I rented an HD movie from the iTunes store and it took over an hour just to buffer it. Turns out my uncle only had 3mb down and 1 up. Paltry! At that rate the movie would have kept buffering.

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