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‘Broadband’ May Mean Something Less

After the FCC sought comments by August 31 on how the agency should define broadband, some of the biggest U.S. Internet service providers urged regulators to adopt a conservative definition of “broadband,” arguing for lowering minimum speeds. The Federal Communications Commision aims to submit a report to congress early next year on the issue of broadband infrastructure, as the Obama administration has been seeking ways to get unserved Americans connected to the internet.


Submissions from AT&T as well as Comcast argued for a definition that even undercut an international ranking of U.S. Internet speed. AT&T believes regulators need to remember that applications like voice over Internet protocol or streaming video, which require faster speeds, are necessarily needed by all unserved Americans.


In contrast, Verizon urged the FCC to maintain speeds of at least 0.768 mbps downstream and 0.200 mbps upstream, as those speeds are being used by the U.S. government to administer $7.2 billion in loans and grants for broadband projects as part of the U.S. economic stimulus package. According to Verizon, changing the limits now would only introduce confusion into the already complicated matters. Courtesy of www.reuters.com

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