FCC: Broadband Starts at 4 Mbit/s

I applaud the Commission for actually being bold enough to state that 200 Kbit/s is not broadband, although I contend that 4 Mbit/s is not a substantial definition beyond this year.  The point is that the FCC is actually trying to be a bit forward looking minus the two commissioners that seem bent on serving a different master.  One of the reasons that consumers opt for lower speed is the cost of higher speed services is out of their budget range.  The price per bit for broadband in many areas ranks as some of the most costly transport in the world.

After upgrading its standard definition of broadband to 4 Mbit/s, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says in its annual broadband deployment report that the prospects for getting high-speed Internet access to 14 to 24 million Americans in poor or rural areas that lack it are “bleak.”

When the FCC began issuing its annual broadband deployment reports in 2004, it set the standard for broadband Internet access at 200 Kbit/s. In the report it issued Wednesday, the commission says that it doesn’t consider a household a broadband-connected home unless it has a high-speed Internet connection with a minimum download speed of 4 Mbit/s and upstream speed of 1 Mbit/s. (See FCC: Up to 24M Lack Broadband Access.)

“This is a minimum speed generally required for using today’s video-rich broadband applications and services, while retaining sufficient capacity for basic web browsing and email,” the FCC said in the report, adding that the standard will “evolve over time.”

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About Mark Milliman

Mark Milliman is a Principal Consultant at Inphotonics Research driving the adoption and assisting local governments to plan, build, operate, and lease access open-access municipal broadband networks. Additionally, he works with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to increase the value of their intellectual capital through the creation of strategic product plans and execution of innovative marketing strategies. With more than 22 years of experience in the telecommunications industry that began at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Mark has built fiber, cable, and wireless networks around the world to deliver voice, video, and data services. His thorough knowledge of all aspects of service delivery from content creation to the design, operation, and management of the network is utilized by carriers and equipment manufacturers. Mark conceived and developed one of the industry’s first multi-service provisioning platform and is multiple patent holder. He is active in the IEEE as a senior member. Mark received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

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