The FCC Just Changed the Definition of Broadband Internet

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The FCC Just Changed the Definition of Broadband Internet

South Park Time Warner Cable social

The new definition of broadband raises the download and upload definition requirements.

The FCC has just voted to change the definition of broadband, according to The Verge, raising the minimum upload and download speeds for Internet access to be identified as such.

The telecommunications governing body says download speeds need to be at least 25 Mbps (megabits per second), while upload speeds need to meet or exceed 3 Mbps. These numbers are up from the past FCC benchmarks of 4 Mbps and 1 Mbps, respectively.

Roughly 19.4 percent of Americans currently do not have access to Internet speeds that meet the new broadband definition.

"When 80 percent of Americans can access 25-3, that's a standard," said FCC chairman Tom Wheeler. "We have a problem that 20 percent can't. We have a responsibility to that 20 percent."

And the FCC doesn't seem entirely satisfied with the new benchmark, as commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel wants the definition figure increased to 100 Mbps. "We invented the internet. We can do audacious things if we set big goals, and I think our new threshold, frankly, should be 100Mbps," said Rosenworcel. "I think anything short of that shortchanges our children, our future, and our new digital economy."

The definition change has two immediate impacts. For starters, it goes against what many (all?) of the major cable/ISP providers have been lobbying for, as a speed bump on both ends will force billing and package offerings in the near future. Second, the change effectively removes phone line-based DSL Internet access from the broadband conversation. The FCC has said DSL will not be considered when broadband rule changes are made going forward. Verizon and AT&T DSL speeds top out at 15 Mbps and 6 Mbps, respectively, and a combined 6.5 million of their ISP customers use DSL for Internet access.

The 25 Mbps number isn't exactly arbitrary, either, as it's tied to 4K content streaming. Netflix recommends a 25 Mbps downstream for anyone wanting to stream Ultra HD (4K) video from its servers.

We'll be sure to update if and when the FCC releases a statement, and if the ISPs respond in kind.

Source: The Verge

Permalink

Devin Connors:
The telecommunications governing body says upload speeds need to be at least 25 Mbps (megabits per second), while upload speeds need to meet or exceed 3 Mbps. These numbers are up from the past FCC benchmarks of 4 Mbps and 1 Mbps, respectively.

I assume you meant download speeds of 25 Mbps and upload speeds of 3 Mbps.

Devin Connors:
Verizon and AT&T DSL speeds top out at 15 Mbps and 6 Mbps, respectively, and a combined 6.5 million of their ISP customers use DSL for Internet access.

I have AT&T DSL and I actually get 12 Mbps down and 1.5 Mbps up. And they offer up to 24 Mbps, I just didn't want to pay extra for it.

I'd assume this may (or may not) be good news.

....

So what's the point of the South Park picture if this is good news?

....

Or is just some weird point that people with DSL may still get screwed over?

It really doesn't remove phone based dsl from the equation at all, BT in the UK is rolling out (as in it's still on going, at about 80% of homes right now) fiber to the cabinets, this get people up to 76 mbps down the phone line. perhaps they will just have to not over charge for shit services from now on.

RatGouf:
I'd assume this may (or may not) be good news.

....

So what's the point of the South Park picture if this is good news?

....

Or is just some weird point that people with DSL may still get screwed over?

The picture from Southpark is there, I presume, to mock ISPs for actually losing a battle they assumed they were going to win.

Hoplon:
It really doesn't remove phone based dsl from the equation at all, BT in the UK is rolling out (as in it's still on going, at about 80% of homes right now) fiber to the cabinets, this get people up to 76 mbps down the phone line. perhaps they will just have to not over charge for shit services from now on.

No, they'll just overcharge for the new standard, quietly throttle down speeds when the introductory grace period runs out, scale up regular carrier-costs and blame the government when people complain.

I've worked in this business before; I know how these jackals think.

Paragon Fury:

RatGouf:
I'd assume this may (or may not) be good news.

....

So what's the point of the South Park picture if this is good news?

....

Or is just some weird point that people with DSL may still get screwed over?

The picture from Southpark is there, I presume, to mock ISPs for actually losing a battle they assumed they were going to win.

Oh, I'm sorry. I heard your company doesn't work that way... Do you want the number for another FCC that can- Oh wait, there isn't any...
/rubs own nipples
They're it, aren't they? Dangit, guess you'll have to change your packages..

Guess you'll just have to provide what we want.
If you don't want to provide what we want, guess you'll just have to shut down your business...
That's too bad!

-Paraphrased from South Park to reflect the new changes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0sAVtOt2wA

Hoplon:
It really doesn't remove phone based dsl from the equation at all.

Does this mean I can still play private servers of fantasy star on my dreamcast?

Well, unless they plan to set a legal ceiling on the consumer cost per megabit, I don't see this actually mattering to anyone. It's like raising the poverty line; all you're doing is redefining how many people are officially living in poverty.

i wish my internet was atleast that fast

My best bet is that there will be a trade off. The ISPs may accept this as long as the net neutrality bills don't get passed. They won't mind having to boost internet speeds so long as there is no legislation preventing them from jacking up prices for the new tier of 'official' broadband.

This is NOT the last we have heard on this.

Yup, this is a fairly useless gesture to most people. They'll charge a TON of money to get faster speeds to make up for it and remove the slower speeds so people have a choice to pay up or have dial-up. Some will pay up, others will be set back even further by not having internet or having dial-up. The companies will then shrug their shoulders and say, "I'm not sure what's wrong, we gave them what you asked us to give them."

hawk533:

I have AT&T DSL and I actually get 12 Mbps down and 1.5 Mbps up. And they offer up to 24 Mbps, I just didn't want to pay extra for it.

How do I jump on that? Cos I moved across the country about a week ago and am staying with my parents for a bit, and they get 1.42 down, whereas where I was living I had 90+ down. I'd happily pay for their increased speed while I'm here. I feel like I'm back in the dial-up days. . .

Jesus...

Soon enough, even The Americans will have better internet than us.

That's just sad.

Well, good news for you guys. This is an impact that affects a pretty big chunk of the world.

And now broadband ISPs will gouge customers even harder for basic service. This is only half of the battle.

The telecommunications governing body says upload speeds need to be at least 25 Mbps (megabits per second), while upload speeds need to meet or exceed 3 Mbps.

I think the first upload needs to be download.

Oh, yay. This is either OK news or a big bargaining chip so net neutrality can hit more road blocks. Wheeler may look like he's going in the right direction to help the consumers, but we must remember he was a cable lobbyist for years and tried to pull a fast one on us less than a year ago. Time will tell whether he is still getting "gifts" from people with too much money and not enough morals or if he's realized that the nice thing to do is to make fair decisions.

I love how the two dissenting commissioners say 25Mbps is unnecessary and the 4K video streaming that requires 25Mbps is not widely adopted. It's not widely adopted yet because the ISPs are holding back progress, you twits. It growing and the TV sales show 4K will be relevant. Along with the game streaming and cloud computing crap that companies are pushing, that tells me 25Mbps is a pretty good ugrade to the broadband standards. I can not tell if they're on ISPs' secret payroll or if they are just out of touch with the industries they are supposed to watch and regulate.

I'm still waiting for the February 26th vote (and the continuing fight afterwards, no matter the outcome).

Its a start. Granted right now its just words on paper and no action has happened, but its a start. I hope this means good things for the future.

Iver never understood why america has some really piss poor internet speeds, i mean ffs im not even paying to the top level speeds with my isp and running a speed test now gave me 87 download and 11 upload.
http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/4100651637

AstaresPanda:
Iver never understood why america has some really piss poor internet speeds, i mean ffs im not even paying to the top level speeds with my isp and running a speed test now gave me 87 download and 11 upload.
http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/4100651637

The US is the first country that had accessible internet to the average Joe. The infrastructure is long forgotten ancient technology and changing it costs a lot. The sheer size of the US makes this even worse because the population density is far lower than in most European countries (generally speaking, cities are freaking dense, denser than the average youtube comment) meaning that you need more infrastructure for the same amount of people than other countries.
If you look at the the whole western world, you will notice hat most of them have worse internet than now developing 2nd world countries which are installing better infrastructure right from the start. It's a huge starting investment and ya know the old saying "don't fix what ain't broken"

Aaaaaand my bill just went up. I swear if they try to do that I'm....putting up with it because I seriously don't know what I'd do all day. BUT I SHALL STILL BE DISPLEASED.

Well, if it goes against what cable companies lobby for it must be a good thing. Because all those fuckers want is earn exorbitant amounts of money while providing as little service as possible. Neo-liberalism hoo!

So can we start suing our providers if they call it 'broadband' but provide below those speeds?
Or do they just get around it by calling it 'high speed' internet.

I love being Australian!

"The Coalition believes that 15Mbps average download and 2.5Mbps average upload will be good enough for Australia in 9 years time (in 2023)."

Devin Connors:

The telecommunications governing body says upload speeds need to be at least 25 Mbps (megabits per second), while upload speeds need to meet or exceed 3 Mbps.

uh, so which is it, 25 or 3? i think the first one needs to be "Download".

as commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel wants

I agree with him. currently 100 seems to be the standard for fast internet. i would agree with 50/50, but not bellow. when i look for internet i dont even look at anyone offering less than 50/50. and yes, upload is important

Second, the change effectively removes phone line-based DSL Internet access from the broadband conversation.

Phone line based DSL should never been in broadband conversation to begin with. Phone lines were never meant for internet, its just that we found a way to utilize them until we lay down actual internet cables.

The 25 Mbps number isn't exactly arbitrary, either, as it's tied to 4K content streaming. Netflix recommends a 25 Mbps downstream for anyone wanting to stream Ultra HD (4K) video from its servers.

haha. hahaha. hahahahahaha.

A good quality 1080p video will be MINIMUM 30 mbps. Bluerays are over 40mbps. 4k video is 4 times the pixels, and while compression helps, it will be more than double that 30 mbps. what netflix streams is like what youtube streams - horribly compressed crap image. To call it Ultra HD is an insult to the term High Definition.

Steve the Pocket:
Well, unless they plan to set a legal ceiling on the consumer cost per megabit, I don't see this actually mattering to anyone. It's like raising the poverty line; all you're doing is redefining how many people are officially living in poverty.

its not like the ISPs can rise the price even more. US is already paying the most for one of the worst internets around. they may remain paying the most but perhaps the internet stops being the worst.

schmulki:
Yup, this is a fairly useless gesture to most people. They'll charge a TON of money to get faster speeds to make up for it and remove the slower speeds so people have a choice to pay up or have dial-up. Some will pay up, others will be set back even further by not having internet or having dial-up. The companies will then shrug their shoulders and say, "I'm not sure what's wrong, we gave them what you asked us to give them."

dial-what? dialup died in the 90s and should remain dead. there is no reason real to use dialup for anyone. the mere fact that somone in us may still use dialup for consumer grade internet is baffling. how can your system be so broken?

BiH-Kira:
It's a huge starting investment and ya know the old saying "don't fix what ain't broken"

the problem is - it is broken and have been broken for years.
And the amount of money ISPs are charging americans they can do that investment 10 times over and still have enough left to profit.

AstaresPanda:
Iver never understood why america has some really piss poor internet speeds, i mean ffs im not even paying to the top level speeds with my isp and running a speed test now gave me 87 download and 11 upload.
http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/4100651637

Meanwhile, in Australia...
http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/4101657455

Yeah. I'm impossibly envious of you.

Zemaddog:
I love being Australian!

"The Coalition believes that 15Mbps average download and 2.5Mbps average upload will be good enough for Australia in 9 years time (in 2023)."

Great, isn't it? *twitch*

Bernzz:

AstaresPanda:
Iver never understood why america has some really piss poor internet speeds, i mean ffs im not even paying to the top level speeds with my isp and running a speed test now gave me 87 download and 11 upload.
http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/4100651637

Meanwhile, in Australia...
http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/4101657455

Yeah. I'm impossibly envious of you.

Zemaddog:
I love being Australian!

"The Coalition believes that 15Mbps average download and 2.5Mbps average upload will be good enough for Australia in 9 years time (in 2023)."

Great, isn't it? *twitch*

I love having Australian internet!
http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/4101677355

At least my internet isn't as bad as my friend's. He gets 2.5 down and 0.6 up. It's so bad he uses a 3g dongle for his xbox, because it's faster.

I used to get similar, albeit a few MB faster, speeds as you. But I cracked and made a deal with the devil, for a small portion of my soul per month for Helstra Cable.

http://www.speedtest.net/result/4102030730.png

If the NBN rollout was still going the way it originally was (well, was intended), it wouldn't be an issue for us, but nope.

Zemaddog:

I love having Australian internet!
http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/4101677355

Me too! Aus internet is great:

http://www.speedtest.net/result/4102249168.png

*Actually not being sarcastic, I lucked out and have NBN in my building ;)

But yeah, America/Australia have the same low population density/large landmass curse when it comes to upgrading infrastructure.

At least America has Google rolling out Google fiber in some areas. We are stuck with a government that's completely jumped the shark. Just glad my building got connected to NBN before they came in and killed the dream for most -_-

Hey be happy you guys at least have established internet. Canada still has trouble getting a broadband cable to small towns two kilometers away from major city centers.

AstaresPanda:
Iver never understood why america has some really piss poor internet speeds, i mean ffs im not even paying to the top level speeds with my isp and running a speed test now gave me 87 download and 11 upload.
http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/4100651637

America has about 4 times as many people as in the UK and is much larger, about 1/4 million square kilometers versus nearly 10 million square kilometers, it's just a big place. And states like Hawaii and Alaska will always bring an average down given their latency.
It's only in the last two years or so they brought faster internet to my dad's house in Alaska and I can still only stream medium quality video (which is fine, better than TV signals which we barely get sometimes) if no one else is using the internet.
It's faster for me to go into town and use LTE on my iPhone or iPad when I want to DL something. Glad I live in LA.

It's the same for people most people from Anywhere, USA when they go back home as well.

Most Americans often forget that the bulk of the population live in small towns widely spread out from each other, and then we wonder why our social programs can't be a one-sized fits all. It's why social programs work better in the UK than they did in Russia.
Average internet connection suffers the same problem.

Personally, it's just a number as long as I can binge watch shows and complain on message boards. :P

Zemaddog:
I love being Australian!

"The Coalition believes that 15Mbps average download and 2.5Mbps average upload will be good enough for Australia in 9 years time (in 2023)."

Ugh. I know right? Having moved back here I've had to get used to my 'bad'/'cheap' UK internet being faster than the best I can get here. (it was 20-22 megabits), here I am really lucky and get 14.75 megabits at the moment, which for DSL is well... Impressive, but in the scheme of things?

What worried me most is how the coalition looked at the UK and decided 'yep. That's our long-term goal'.
When the UK itself considers it wholly inadequate, and it's often considered one of the worst in Europe... >_>

That's just so sad and stupid. No foresight whatsoever, and setting your standards so low the place you're copying it from already considers it far too slow...

Shinkicker444:
I used to get similar, albeit a few MB faster, speeds as you. But I cracked and made a deal with the devil, for a small portion of my soul per month for Helstra Cable.

http://www.speedtest.net/result/4102030730.png

If the NBN rollout was still going the way it originally was (well, was intended), it wouldn't be an issue for us, but nope.

ron1n:

Me too! Aus internet is great:

http://www.speedtest.net/result/4102249168.png

*Actually not being sarcastic, I lucked out and have NBN in my building ;)

But yeah, America/Australia have the same low population density/large landmass curse when it comes to upgrading infrastructure.

At least America has Google rolling out Google fiber in some areas. We are stuck with a government that's completely jumped the shark. Just glad my building got connected to NBN before they came in and killed the dream for most -_-

What the fuck, did you two make some secret deal with satan involving your first born children?

Seriously, http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/4102482936

I am a sad.

I believe 4K streaming is excessive at this point. Netflix, I'm not one of your customers, but if your going to clog up the internet with your excessive bandwidth, you pay for infrastructure.

Strazdas:
dial-what? dialup died in the 90s and should remain dead. there is no reason real to use dialup for anyone. the mere fact that somone in us may still use dialup for consumer grade internet is baffling. how can your system be so broken?

"Your system" tells me you're not in the US, correct? Welcome to the problem with the horrid way the US handles internet. In the areas of this country which are further spread out, it costs more to run cable, so private companies just don't do so. So yes, there are some parts of the country where the best option might be DSL. If things are shaken up at all, people might be left with the options of a) pay a lot for faster service, b) pay very little for dialup, or c) nothing.

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