Friday, May 18, 2007

Do You Really Have Broadband?

From ARSTechnica Broadband isn't broadband unless it's 2Mbps

Saying that the FCC "has not kept pace with the times or the technology," Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) opened a hearing today into the FCC's methods for measuring broadband availability in the US.

The Broadband Census of America Act, currently in draft form, asks the FCC to increase its broadband threshold speed from 200Kbps to 2Mbps.

The most contentious of these was whether the government should mandate a definition for "high-speed Internet."

Larry Cohen, president of the Communication Workers of America, said that the US is "stuck with a twentieth century Internet" and that he would support increasing the "broadband" definition to 2Mbps

Right now, that definition includes any connection over 200Kbps, which Markey wants to boost more than 10 times. 2Mbps is faster than many current DSL links, so part of the reasoning behind this change appears to have a public relations focus—telecommunications companies will want to boost their offerings to over 2Mbps in order to avoid the stigma of not providing "true" broadband.

1 comment:

Laura said...

I agree with Larry Cohen's definition. So many of the new applications need higher speeds and to truly take advantage of the new applications, even 2 MBPS will seem slow in the next few years. It is not a question of pandering to the telecos. It is a question of what we will need in the future and why build out a slow network and then have go back and fix it later. If other countries can do it, so can we, but it will take public policy changes. See for some interesting suggestions.