As the FCC prepares to make a big decision on net neutrality, it’s taking small steps to classify broadband internet.
The FCC voted Thursday to classify broadband internet as connections that provide download speeds of at least 25 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of 3 Mbps.
That’s a good move. Those speeds are a lot faster than many people probably get from their internet provider (ISP). By definition, ISPs won’t be able to say they provide broadband unless they can give you at least those speeds.
But, as Jon Brodkin of Ars Technica points out, that’s also probably why cable lobbyists fought the FCC to keep the broadband definition at a minimum of a puny 4 Mbps for download speeds.
The FCC chairman Tom Wheeler had a strong response to the ISP lobbyists though. They may have been fighting to keep the definition of broadband at slower speeds, but all their marketing intimates you need much faster speeds.
For example, Wheeler pointed out Verizon recommends having at least a 25 Mbps download and upload connection for households that have a few connected devices. (That probably applies to a lot of households these days.)
It’s another example of how ISPs claim they invest a lot in infrastructure to improve internet speeds, but aren’t willing to do it in reality.