When someone says ‘broadband internet’ today it indicates (according to the FCC) that the internet connection offers a minimum of 25Mbps down, and 3Mbps up. This has been in place for quite a while, and in general allowed the broadband term to mean ‘fast’ internet. Today, however, with the growing demands on internet bandwidth, 25Mbps isn’t really enough for many people.
The New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute is currently pushing the FCC to adjust the definition. They want broadband to be 50Mbps down, and 20Mbps up. This doubling of down speed and nearly 600% increase in upload speeds would, they claim, better reflect the demands of modern internet users.
The group filed papers with the FCC that state, “People use their connections for many reasons, and often multitask. It is easy to see how multiple people with multiple devices engaging in multiple online activities on the same residential connection can quickly lead to buffering, slow load times, and frustration even with a 25/3 connection.”
They go on to talk about the growing ‘internet of things’ that will also require bandwidth, and how virtual reality devices are starting to catch on, which can eat up a lot of bandwidth.
The ISPs of the country are telling the FCC that this type of change is not needed, but that is no surprise. If the FCC does make that change, the ISPs will either need to raise their minimum level speeds up, or stop marketing them as broadband.