FCC updates the definition of "Broadband"

The FCC has increased the minimum size of a "Broadband" connection to 100 Mbps down and 20 up.

The FCC has kept the National definition of a broadband internet connection low for ages. This meager bump makes things workable for most day-to-day use but is still woefully behind the demand. Having lived in rural places with rural internet, it sucks.

Broadband was originally defined as any 200 kbps connection, a pathetic metric from the very start. In 2010, that pathetic definition was changed to a slightly less pathetic definition: 4 Mbps downstream, 1 Mbps upstream. In 2015, it was changed again to a slightly more reasonable but still pathetic 25 Mbps downstream, 3 Mbps upstream, where it stayed for almost a decade.

For that entire decade everybody from consumer groups to the GAO told the FCC that the sluggish 25/3 definition didn't reflect modern standards, and let the telecom industry get away with providing substandard service. The Trump FCC's response: to propose lowering the definition even further.

Even the FCC's new 100 Mbps down, 20 Mbps up threshold was watered down by cable and wireless lobbyists, who knew they'd struggle providing consistent 100 Mbps upstream. And it's still relatively tepid given some municipal broadband networks have been offering 10 Gbps connections since 2015. And it came long after other agencies (like the NTIA) had adopted the standard for federal subsidies.