FCC: Broadband Internet Must Hit 25Mbps, or ISPs Can't Call It Broadband

Josh WolfordTechnology

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If your ISP doesn't provide download speeds of 25Mbps, it can no longer tell you you're getting broadband internet.

The Federal Communications Commission has just voted to change the definition of "broadband", raising the minimum download speed from 4Mbps to 25Mbps and the minimum upload speed from 1Mbps to 3Mbps.

"We are never satisfied with the status quo. We want better. We continue to push the limit, and that is notable when it comes to technology," FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said. "As consumers adopt and demand more from their platforms and devices, the need for broadband will increase, requiring robust networks to be in place in order to keep up. What is crystal clear to me is that the broadband speeds of yesteryear are woefully inadequate today and beyond."

As you would assume, internet service providers have vehemently opposed the new rules, as it limits the numbers of services they can pass off as "broadband" to customers. The National Cable & Telecommunications Association claims that internet customers neither need or want to pay for such speeds, and that establishing a new benchmark for what constitutes broadband is both "arbitrary and capricious", considering the fact that the new rule is simply a definition change.

In other words, the FCC is not forcing ISPs to offer certain speeds. What it is doing, however, is making sure companies can't call super slow connections "broadband".

According to the FCC, the new rules still leave many Americans without internet that can be classified as broadband – especially those living in rural areas.

Hopefully, this decision will push ISPs into increasing internet speeds for many Americans. Apart from that, the ruling could have a significant impact in other areas, for instance the pending Comcast/Time Warner merger.

Image via FCC, Twitter

Josh Wolford

Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer.

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