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Once upon a time “broadband” internet access was basically anything faster than a dialup modem. But these days it takes a bit more bandwidth than that to really take advantage of all that the internet has to offer.

So the Federal Communications Commission has voted to change the definition of broadband. Up until recently an internet service provider needed to offer download speeds of 4 Mbps and upload speeds of 1 Mbps. Now to call its service “broadband,” a provider needs to offer 25 Mbps download speeds and 3 Mbps upload speeds.


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20 replies on “Lilbits (1-29-2015): Redefining broadband”

  1. Another play by the FCC to assert more control. Make no mistake, they’re end goal is carte blanche regulation.

    1. Regulation? Oh, no, how will the poor little telecom companies survive without scamming consumers? It’s their God-given right to rip as many people off as possible with out the mean ol’ gummint stepping in and making them play fair.

      1. Regulation doesn’t lead to better innovation. It ultimately hurts the consumer.

  2. 126.33 Mbps on the download ! (see the Speedtest graphic at top of the article) – what kind of connection was that on Brad? Have you been in South Korea recently?

  3. Can I sure comcast for false advertising when my connection goes super slow? I have had several evenings where the download speeds are in the 1Mbs or less then it bounce up again later. Calling comcast for support is a joke. CAN’T WAIT FOR GOOGLE FIBER

  4. all i know is that i can’t wait until some new competing technology comes out so we can ditch these current broadband providers. Then we’ll have to deal with a new bunch of idiots.

  5. now their going to uck fup the internet ,,cant this president just go away//

      1. Seven grammatical errors in just fourteen words. And that isn’t counting the childish circumvention of profanity rules.

        Please stick to places like Yahoo News, “triple-k.”

    1. Regardless of whether the president is an idiot or not the question is whether govt is getting involved because they want to (which is bad) or if they feel they have to (which is also bad but legitimate). The last thing I want to see is an internet connection bill that used to look like my old landline bill with gazillions of wierd taxes and fees for God knows what.

  6. Heh, my DSL provider won’t qualify under those guidelines. I’m lucky to get 750Kbps upload most days.

    Between Disney/ESPN flirting with Sling TV and Nickelodeon going standalone, the TV providers’ walls seem to be caving in. As soon as Big Ten Network and BBC America offer similar services, I can cut the cord for good.

  7. Project butter: smooth but fatty
    Project silk: smooth but buggy?

  8. This is good news for consumers, since it will add pressure on the ISPs to deliver faster speeds to their customers. Of course, they will probably just try to invent new marketing terms, like “ultra-high speed internet” to bamboozle customers, but broadband is such a well understood term these days that they might be forced to act.

    1. The pressure of free market capitalism should be enough. Anything else is immoral because it’s primary action is Force.

      1. Yeah, that’s why the monopolies brought to us by the almighty free market have brought consumers fast speeds at decent prices. Even with competition, there’s no incentive for the ISPs to innovate. They settle into an equilibrium where they make huge profits and people pay them not because they are willing, but because there are no other options and internet access is a necessity to stay competitive in the modern world. Why spend the money to upgrade their systems? Why bother to actually give customers their advertised speeds? They will pay just the same and they will keep on paying. Markets like this with such a HUGE barrier to entry (installing miles upon miles of cable and infrastructure) don’t have to worry about new competition. This is why utilities are so highly regulated; you can’t just switch to a different water and sewer provider if you like their service better. As we have learned countless times in history (Standard Oil, Bell Telephone, etc.), monopolies cannot be trusted to play by the rules of this free market ideal that they supposedly love so much. Regulation makes sure that this happens. We have referees in sporting events because we need to make sure that players are playing fair and not cheating. Referees are not “immoral” force imposed on the players, they are an essential part of making the game possible in the first place. Consumers are regulated also. For example, it would be illegal for me to find some way to use their services without paying. These companies need to play fair or be replaced, and something tells me that they aren’t inclined to do so without encouragement from the FCC.

        1. You miss some vital points.

          Competition is limited BY the government. No monopoly can exist without government protection. The Govt is the main culprit in making the barrier-to-entry so high by way of regulation that no upstart Can compete.

          So based on that, most of the rest of your argument is moot.

          “Even with competition, there’s no incentive for the ISPs to innovate” is a very ignorant statement to make.

          Cellular companies are able to compete and have to always outdo each other with offered coverage and speeds and minutes and tech etc.

          Landlines are so over-regulated that its near impossible for someone else to come in and offer alternatives. That govt regulation allows a de facto monopoly to exist.

        2. and by the way… att was a govt sanctioned monopoly. you should read up on some history.

        3. Standard Oil cornered the market because of smart business decisions, and being efficient. Ultimately the consumers won.

          “In 1865, when Rockefeller’s market share was still minuscule, a gallon
          of kerosene cost 58 cents. In 1870, Standard’s market share was 4%, and a
          gallon cost 26 cents. By 1880, when Standard’s market share had
          skyrocketed to 90%, a gallon cost only 9 cents — and a decade later,
          with Standard’s market share still at 90%, the price was 7 cents. These
          data point to the real cause of Standard Oil’s success — its ability to
          charge the lowest prices by producing kerosene with unparalleled


      2. The FCC is right, the ISP needs to offer 25 Mbps to call it Broadband. This is a good step in the right direction.

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