Business

FCC may force Internet providers to stop calling their slow, crappy speeds ‘broadband’

The FCC is considering a new definition of “broadband,” a term which defines high-speed Internet as 4Mbps and better.

The new definition would raise the minimum speed above 10Mbps or even 25Mbps, the Washington Post reports. At this time, the agency appears to be nowhere near legally issuing a new definition — rather, the FCC reportedly intends to solicit public comments on the matter soon.

If the FCC were to raise the definition to 25Mbps, numerous ISPs would be legally required to either redefine their baseline services or raise the speed of entry-level offerings. Comcast’s entry-level Internet service in New York, for example, only peaks at 25Mbps. A majority of AT&T’s services, however, provide significantly slower speeds.

In fact, average U.S. Internet speeds rank statistically lower than those of nine other countries, including Latvia, Switzerland, and Romaina.

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 3.35.23 PM

Considering the United State’s dismal speed rankings and the emergence of bandwidth-intensive services like Netflix, the original definition of broadband may no longer be realistic for consumers.


Mobile developer or publisher? VentureBeat is studying mobile app analytics. Fill out our 5-minute survey, and we'll share the data with you.
31 comments
Gear Mentation
Gear Mentation

It's criminal for the internet companies to charge the same for extremely poor service, such as 100 or 150 kilobytes -not megabytes- per second as they do for decent connections.  That's what they do now in America because we have monopolies with no government regulation.

Matthew Syn Prince
Matthew Syn Prince

I'm doing a speed test right now because I am hardly able to do anything right now. Its going so slow Its been running for about 2-3 minutes and the DOWNLOAD section of the test isn't even done yet. Averaging around .15-.17 I PAY FOR 3.0

VentureBeat
VentureBeat

We hate you, Anand ;) — love, VB NY

Tom McInnerney
Tom McInnerney

I am SOOO jelly. In AUS I have Optus Fibre, which is second to the best Telstra. And it fucking sucks compared to Telstra, but ESPECIALLY the speeds Ive seen you Google Fibre guys get!

Fred Smith
Fred Smith

Hopefully the FCC is smart enough to define it as steady state at peak hours.  Not burst rate in the middle of the night.

Allan Oberrender
Allan Oberrender

from /u/quasmiq on Reddit: Can NOT Stress this enough. This is nothing more than a delay tactic. Not that I don't applaud any effort FCC may be making in general publics favor. However, it is imperative that the public does not lose focus.

Bill Smithfield
Bill Smithfield

Let's be realistic though before we go calling the USA a third world country. It's a lot easier to wire up a country as small at Latvia that only has 2 million people and 25K square miles vs. the USA, which has 314M people and 3,784K square miles.


Latvia = 25K square miles, 2M people

S. Korea = 38K square miles, 50M people

USA = 3,784K square miles, 314M people


Sherman Berman
Sherman Berman

Brings up the question, which may be useful for overall evaluative purposes, to get one's bearings so to speak, In what way is, or is not, in the common vernacular,  the United States of America still -  if ever it was -  a "first world country?' 

Eric Barr
Eric Barr

This is a distraction so that the general public will forget about the FCC's "Fast Lanes" and so the FCC can try to regain some public favor. DO NOT FALL FOR IT! Tom Wheeler is still not on our side, and the new bill proposed by that shit-head Bob Latta is the real priority!

Eduard Victor Toma
Eduard Victor Toma

That's what you get for being led by morons that were elected by other morons.

Eduard Victor Toma
Eduard Victor Toma

When I still lived in Romania, I got 100/100 mbps uncapped for 15 dollars a month. The speeds that Americans call "broadband" are a bad joke to me.

James Kronenberg
James Kronenberg

Windstream in rural Arkansas sucks...below 2mb most of the time and when it rains slower and drops out 3 or 4 times an hour...and over $30.00 a month 

Saidul Chowdhury
Saidul Chowdhury

This is not acceptable cause all big internet companies located in USA

Heather Lloyd Hand
Heather Lloyd Hand

The average U.S. Internet speeds rank statistically lower than those of nine other countries, including Latvia, Switzerland, and Romaina. Shocking...

Wendy Sue Buckleman
Wendy Sue Buckleman

As soon as I start to worry about how slow America's internet is I feel sure I don't need to because something better is bound to be coming soon that will dump those old systems like a bunch of pre-USB cable devices.

Irina Soroceanu
Irina Soroceanu

It's not insane, it's called a normal standard of living! :(

Evgeny Konstantinov
Evgeny Konstantinov

American broadband is also overpriced. In Russia I pay $13 for unlimited traffic at 80Mbps. How much do you pay?

meme notu
meme notu

@Bill Smithfield Yeah and yet those countries have it being done by the government and we have 100+ internet companies dividing up the nation all of them making billions in profits.

It took Verizon a grand total of 3 months to install fiber cables in the greater Tampa Bay area going as far west as St. Pete, as far north as northern Pasco County (the county north of St Pete & Tampa) and as far south as Sarasota and as far east as Plant City.

And during that time they were expanding in other areas and states as well.

So much for your "realism" now eh? A corporation can wire the nation in a year if they CHOSE to.

Yordany Rosario
Yordany Rosario

Megabyte or Megabit? I'm guessing it's Megabit so you're really getting 15mbps not 100mbps. Otherwise Romania would be at the top of the "peak" list.

Tommy Stewart
Tommy Stewart

@Yordany Rosario You're confusing the vernacular. Mb = megabit. MB = megabyte. I don't know of any ISP that measures their speed in MBps anywhere in the world as network transmissions are all measured in bits per second.


With overhead and everything, 100 Mbps is about 11 MBps.