The FCC may reclassify US broadband as 10 Mbps and up

The FCC may reclassify US broadband as 10 Mbps and up

The US Federal Communications Commission has proposed (PDF) an update to the definition of “broadband” from a minimum download rate of 4 Mbps to 10 Mbps, Reuters reports.

With the proposal, the FCC is seeking comment on the state of broadband deployment in the US, especially as it relates to expansion into often-overlooked rural areas. The comment period will run until September 4, with a reply comment period to follow until September 19.

The commission notes in its report that the rise of VoIP and video on demand services has ramped up the amount of bandwidth consumers require from their connections. Netflix, for instance, recommends a 5 Mbps download speed for HD quality and Sony’s new PlayStation Now service also requires a 5 Mbps setup.

The US ranks fairly low on the list of global broadband speeds. According to NetIndex, the US average of 26.79 Mbps places it in 26th, though it’s still notably higher than the proposed 10Mbps requirement. By comparison, Hong Kong is believed to have the fastest connections with an average of 87.32 Mbps.

Tenth Broadband Progress Notice of Inquiry [FCC]

Image credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

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