The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently announced a change to the broadband definition. Set at 4.0 Megabits per second (Mbps) download and 1.0 Mbps upload for years, the new standard will be 25.0 Mbps download and 3.0 Mbps upload. One FCC Commissioner, Jessica Rosenworcel, argued for a change to 100 Mbps download as the new broadband standard, but her proposal was not adopted.

According to The Verge the percentage of Americans who will not have broadband access will increase from 6.3% to 19.4%. While this will move the United States further down on the list of broadband nations, the new standard is intended to encourage providers to increase speeds.

From what Brian Torchin understands, cable providers are not happy with the change, citing the inability to deliver 25 Mbps over Digital Service Line (DSL). The maximum speed of DSL, which is supported over wire is less than 25 Mbps, so no DSL providers will be able to meet the new standard.

Content providers such as Netflix are strong supporters of the change, arguing that a minimum of 25 Mbps is needed to support their 4K and Ultra HD streaming, even though only a tiny fraction of customers presently use either service.

 

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