Friday, January 30, 2015

FCC raises "broadband" minimum speed to 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up

The FCC disregarded operator concerns and has raised the minimum speed requirements for any internet connection to be considered "broadband". Now it'll need to be at least a 25Mbps and 3Mbps (download/upload.)

It seems like yesterday we were connecting to the internet over modems at 28.8Kbaud, and wishing someday we could get a digital 64Kbps connection; and now some of us are lucky enough to be connected to the world at over 100Mbps (or even 1Gbps). Times do change, and the FCC thinks - rightfully so - that the minimum accepted speed should also change. Now, instead of the old 4/1Mbps, operators will need to provide at least 25Mbps and 3Mbps (download/upload) to sell it as "broadband".

Unsurprisingly, operators don't agree and say most users have no need for "such speeds"; bashing all the talk about 4K Ultra HD video streaming as being something that people won't use for many years to come (forgetting that slower speeds will make sure that won't happen at all).

In any case, you don't even need or care about 4K video to see just how a 4Mbps is now inadequate. Take a PC or XBox One (or PS4) game you buy online. You'll easily find games ranging from 30 to over 50GB, and downloading it at 4Mbps means you'll probably have to wait 1 day or so till you can play it. But at 25Mbps, you may be just a couple of hours away from playing.

Like some have already stated, instead of complaining about the 25Mbps, operators should actually be thankful for the FCC to not have set the minimum broadband speed at 50 or 100Mbps, as some hoped for.

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