Big Broadband Begs FCC Not To Expose Their Lies By Defining Broadband Accurately

from the good-luck-with-that dept

Last week, FCC boss Tom Wheeler pointed out two important things: (1) The FCC's definition of "broadband" internet service (4Mbps down / 1 Mbps up) was silly because it was way too slow for things that people do online, like streaming HD video and (2) if you go up to higher (more accurate) levels of broadband, competition in providers all but disappears. This was important on two accounts. The big broadband players have always pushed for keeping the "official" broadband standards as low as possible, in order to pretend that we have better and more competitive broadband than everyone knows we actually have. In the past, the FCC has been a willing accomplice in this charade. By showing the following chart, and suggesting that it was time to really jack up the official broadband standards, Wheeler was clearly signaling that perhaps those bad old days when the FCC was a partner in the big US broadband lie are over, and that it might actually start trying to represent reality and push for rules that actually make the US a competitive broadband player.
Of course, the FCC had already asked for comments concerning the possibility of raising the official broadband definition to 10 Mbps down about a month ago, arguing that based on actual usage information, this would" fall within the mid-range needed by a three-user household with moderate broadband use, but would not accommodate demand for a three-user household with high use. Specifically, the FCC noted that this would allow a family of three "at periods to stream a movie, participate in online education, surf the web, and have a mobile device syncing to its email account." Fair enough.

Except... no. Not according to the big broadband providers, which did the FCC comment-equivalent of a freak out at this possible proposal. Let's start with AT&T:
Although the industry remains well ahead of the curve, the centerpiece of the Commission’s Notice is a proposal to change the definition of advanced capabilities – in particular, a proposal to increase the minimum “advanced” capabilities benchmark from 4 Mbps download speeds to 10 Mbps. Given the pace at which the industry is investing in advanced capabilities, there is no present need to redefine “advanced” capabilities, and, as discussed below, the proposed redefinition is not adequately supported. The Commission should undertake a more rigorous, fact-based and statutory analysis before determining what, if any, definitional revisions are warranted at this time. Even recognizing that the definition of broadband will evolve over time, the Notice presents no record basis for a conclusion at this time that a service of less than 10 Mbps is no longer “advanced.”
AT&T insists that people really aren't using that much bandwidth, and that the FCC overestimates how much bandwidth things like streaming HD video really take. In a neat bit of tautological reasoning, AT&T actually argues that because people aren't using that much bandwidth now (perhaps because AT&T doesn't let them...), it's clear that this isn't a reasonable definition of broadband:
Consumer behavior strongly reinforces the conclusion that a 10 Mbps service exceeds what many Americans need today to enable basic, high-quality transmissions. AT&T data show that, in areas where its customers have access to a service that offers download speeds greater than 10 Mbps, many consumers choose to buy services with lower download speeds. Indeed, even in areas where only a 6 Mbps service is available, a substantial portion of consumers choose to purchase a lower-speed service.
Perhaps that's because your pricing sucks, and even when people do pay more, you do crappy things like throttle Netflix.

Over to Verizon, which argues that raising the broadband speed definitions would be a problem because it might confuse people, and you know how much Verizon wants everyone to have a clear understanding of everything, right?
Furthermore, the Commission should avoid adopting new requirements for defining “broadband” that would unnecessarily complicate the Commission’s analysis and hinder the proper assessment of broadband deployment
Simply boosting a number to more accurately represent what is considered a high speed internet connection would "complicate" things how exactly? Oh, because now we couldn't compare the old bogus numbers to the new bogus numbers.
for the sake of consistency and to ensure meaningful comparisons over time, the Commission should maintain a relatively stable benchmark for defining broadband, even if the Commission also sees a benefit of tracking the availability and adoption of higher-speed services
Verizon also pulls AT&T's trick of claiming "well, people have slower connections, so that's proof that lower standards are fine."
At the same time, the data confirm that services providing 4 Mbps/1 Mbps are still popular and meaningful to consumers.
Meaningful? I wonder how the data concludes that.

Next up, we've got NCTA, representing the cable companies, and it's (of course) of the opinion that it would be absurd to raise the rates, because, really, there isn't any good HD content online anyway:
The Commission suggests that higher speeds may be needed to handle “super HD” video traffic, but even if true, given the limited presence of super HD video at this time, and the many other Internet services and functionality that can be easily accommodated with a 4/1 connection, there is no basis for finding that a connection must be able to handle one particular type of video in order to meet the definition of broadband.
Yes, but perhaps the reason there isn't much super HD video is because your damn connections are too slow. Content follows bandwidth. If the FCC jacks up the standards, the broadband guys will ramp up their speeds, and watch the content flow...

There are some other fun submissions, including CTIA, representing the wireless operators (which include Verizon and AT&T, of course) arguing that looking to the future is lame, man. We should base our broadband stats on historical usage:
The Commission should analyze mobile broadband speeds in light of existing marketplace offerings
Don't aspire to the future, let's settle for today's mediocrity. At least some folks are arguing for the change, including the Communications Workers of America, who probably realize that requiring higher speeds would likely lead to more work for its members. It's interesting to note that satellite internet providers are more than happy to support the FCC's higher standards, noting that those rates are easy to meet. Compare and contrast this statement to the whining from above:
The FCC’s proposal to adopt a 10/1 Mbps speed benchmark represents a reasonable minimum threshold to ensure consumers in a “moderate use household” can satisfy their broadband internet access needs. Speeds of this level allow a “moderate use household” to stream videos, make VoIP phone calls, browse webpages, and check emails, which are the core broadband applications used by typical consumers. Consumer broadband satellite services provided by Hughes go as high as 15/2 Mbps and by ViaSat go as high as 12/3 Mbps, and they offer all of the above applications as part of their respective satellite services.
That said, those satellite providers do then complain about including a "latency" component to the benchmarks, because satellite internet latency has always sucked.

Public Knowledge went in the other direction, arguing that even 10 Mbps is too low and that the new standard should actually be 25 Mbps. Imagine the level of freakout from the legacy broadband players if that went through...

Either way, upping the definition of what qualifies as broadband by the FCC would be a big step in more accurately reflecting the state of the broadband market in the US today, both from the standpoint of what kinds of speeds are really available and recognizing the lack of competition across the nation. The fact that it's scaring the traditional broadband players so much says an awful lot about how they've been able to hide behind the weak benchmarks in the past.




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Filed Under: broadband, definition, fcc, tom wheeler
Companies: at&t, ncta, verizon


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  • identicon
    Whoever, 9 Sep 2014 @ 10:22am

    What about total monthly allowance?

    The speed is largely irrelevant if you have a small data cap, as is imposed by wireless carriers. The FCC should require a data cap to be at least 100GB for a service to qualify as broadband.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 10:42am

      Re: What about total monthly allowance?

      I disagree; I think any service with a cap - either a hard "pay more if you go over" limit or a "i'll throttle your connection" limit - shouldn't be considered broadband.

      Who cares how fast your speeds are if using those speeds too often negatively affects you?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 10:46am

        Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

        I disagree. Broadband is about transmission speed and latency. Usage caps don't make it suddenly not broadband.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 10:57am

          Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

          I think he may have meant to imply that if a broadband class connection can be throttled to say... 56k speeds because you hit some arbitrary limit decided by them should not be considered broadband...

          And broadband has nothing to do with latency. It is only about sending a lot of information in one go. Latency is something else entirely.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            John Fenderson (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:04am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

            "And broadband has nothing to do with latency."

            I disagree. For example, I don't consider satellite "broadband" to be broadband at all. But this highlights the main problem with the term "broadband": it's a marketing term that never had a technical definition at all, and now people want to use it as a technical term only to find, unsurprisingly, that everyone has their own idea of what it means.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:27am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

              For example, I don't consider satellite "broadband" to be broadband at all

              "broadband" has Broad right at the start.

              If Satellite can go either 12 or 15 down, that is wider, or more Broad, than wired's 4mb width.

              Latency is a whole other beast which affects the Satellite

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Lord Binky, 9 Sep 2014 @ 12:12pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

              Latency has everything to do with the internet being an interactive tool. It is a key factor in the enjoyability of a user's experience with interactive mediums.

              I'm curious what satellite wants the latency bar set to. Maybe 1,000ms (1 second) or 500 ms (.5 second), because a 1/10 of a second is too quick for them. I don't know anyone who wouldn't care either way if they had a choice between using a computer with 1,000ms latency and one with 100ms right next to it. Even at 500ms, people would still say the internet feels slow if the response time is slow, even if the end result is a super-hd video. It's also a more accurate statement, if the the latency is high, the internet IS slow. Saying the internet is slow when the throughput capacity / bandwidth is low is incorrect even if that's common usage.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 1:19pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

              Actually technically broadband does have a definition:
              a high-capacity transmission technique using a wide range of frequencies, which enables a large number of messages to be communicated simultaneously.
              It really doesn't have anything to do with speed, latency or anything that is being popularized. Technically 56K modems were a form of broadband by using various Pulse Code Modulation algorithms.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                John Fenderson (profile), 10 Sep 2014 @ 8:22am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

                Yes, but that's the definition for radio transmissions. By that definition, there is no such thing a "broadband internet".

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 1:37pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

              In this case... we go to the definition. It does not help our cause if we try to "redefine" well established meanings. Where in this definition do you get latency as a part of its design?


              broad·band
              ˈbrôdˌband/
              noun
              noun: broadband

              a high-capacity transmission technique using a wide range of frequencies, which enables a large number of messages to be communicated simultaneously.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 1:29pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

            "And broadband has nothing to do with latency. It is only about sending a lot of information in one go. Latency is something else entirely."

            In that case I can use snail mail to deliver 4 TB hard drives back and forth. It maybe faster to transfer really large files than transferring through an Internet connection but the latency is very slow.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Ninja (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 10:57am

          Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

          I see your point but suppose they give you a Gigabit connection with a 100Gb cap and after it they reduce to 1 mbit. By all means this shouldn't be considered broadband.

          If the FCC really wants to put up with the ISP bullshit they should at the very last say that if the speeds fall below 10mbit (or whatever limit) after the caps is over then it will only be considered broadband if the caps can sustain X hours (I'd go for 4 hours) a day everyday of full usage.

          ie: a 10/1 connection would need at least 165Gb caps as in (11/8)*4*30 (they usually count upstream towards the cap)

          And That considering 1 mbit upstream is shitty in the age of Youtube, clud storage and the likes.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:04am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

            Silly Ninja, don't you know that cloud storage is only used for copyright infringement and therefore has no legitimate purpose, and therefore is not part of their consideration./s

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            John Fenderson (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:06am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

            "suppose they give you a Gigabit connection with a 100Gb cap and after it they reduce to 1 mbit. By all means this shouldn't be considered broadband."

            Ahh, I see what you're saying now. Yes, I agree with this. While you're being throttled, you no longer have broadband.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:06am

        Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

        I disagree; I think any service with a cap - either a hard "pay more if you go over" limit or a "i'll throttle your connection" limit - shouldn't be considered broadband.
        I hate defending telcos, but I should point out that there is an issue of degree here. Usage-based billing as implemented by the telcos is typically priced to have a chilling effect, and your comment is written accordingly. Should it still be considered evil if the price for exceeding the threshold is proportional, such as $50 for connectivity and your first 500GB (coming to $0.10/GB, ignoring the connectivity part) and then an additional $0.05-$0.10 per GB after that? Such a model would be double your usage means double your bill. These numbers are only for example, and I'll happily admit that they may still make traffic more expensive than justified by the cost of carriage. Telcos need some sort of technique to handle the truly absurd consumers. Defining a consumer-friendly method now is better than letting them come up with their own, likely chilling, model -- especially if the consumer-friendly model is enshrined in law, regulation, or public perception.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:10am

          Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

          "Telcos need some sort of technique to handle the truly absurd consumers."

          Why?

          If what the telecoms say is true, that it's only a tiny minority of users that approach these usage rates, then this is technically a nonproblem.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 1:22pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

            "Telcos need some sort of technique to handle the truly absurd consumers."

            Why?

            If what the telecoms say is true, that it's only a tiny minority of users that approach these usage rates, then this is technically a nonproblem.
            Trusting the telecoms' claims about how many people are "heavy" users seems unwise when it is in their interest to claim that nobody needs to worry about it, since that is the claim most likely to let them impose their rules. In my opinion, it is better for the public if there is a customer-friendly standard for what constitutes excessive/abusive/absurd usage levels, because if the telecoms get to decide what is excessive, it is almost guaranteed to be customer-hostile. I'm not saying the standard should be set such that it affects many users or even that it be punitive to those it affects. I look at things like:

            Can the Acceptable Usage Policy be used to impose a transfer/month limit?
            Can the Acceptable Usage Policy be used to prohibit conduct that is legal under applicable local/state/federal law?
            Can the telecom bill above your base rate if you exceed some level?
            Is the level waived if the telecom network satisfied its service guarantees to all customers? (i.e. no other customer was impacted by your heavy usage, so no other customer cares, so there is no reason to discourage such usage)
            What constitutes abusive usage? We have seen telecoms like to say that using more than a secret limit is abusive. I think the limit, if it exists, should be public and set so high that it takes serious effort to exceed it.
            What is the escalation procedure for abusive usage? How transparent is the determination process? Is the customer notified and given a realistic chance to contest the determination (as opposed to the absurd "defense opportunities" in the Copyright 6 strikes system), prior to any adverse action by the telecom? What are the possible penalties if the customer continues to engage in abusive usage?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Greevar (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 4:55pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

              Or, the telecoms should be required to set a minimum; a speed they must provide to everyone to ensure that the network has enough capacity. At off-peak times, users can go beyond that speed as network activity permits. During peak usage, all users would be throttled to their minimum level of service.

              Example:

              20 Mbps minimum speed, spikes to up 100 Mbps on off-peak hours.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            PRMan, 9 Sep 2014 @ 1:45pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

            Because at some point one user ruins the pipe for everyone.

            Back in the day, we had a T1 pipe for an entire college campus and back then (1995) it was great for several months. Suddenly, it slowed to a crawl. One professor wrote a program to download data 24/7 and filled the whole pipe. We didn't have complex QoS algorithms back then. But the same thing applies now to a lesser extent. If everyone's usage is "regular" then everyone can share a relatively small pipe easily.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              JoeCool (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 5:31pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

              A professor may have the authority to use a university connection in such a manner. Regular users do not. One single user of a modern connection cannot get 500Mbps at the expense of 100 other users. Your argument that one single use ruins the pipe only applies if the user has more privileges than all other users... say, a company buying fast-lane privileges from the ISP.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              John Fenderson (profile), 10 Sep 2014 @ 8:25am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

              "Because at some point one user ruins the pipe for everyone."

              If this is possible, it's because the ISP isn't doing their job properly.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 10:44am

      Re: What about total monthly allowance?

      Lets just cut to the chase and just say...

      Unlimited Broadband = No Data Cap with 720HD Quality Speed.

      Limited Broadband = Any Data Cap (regardless of limit) with 720HD Quality Speed.

      Unlimited Lowband = No Data Cap with less than 720HD Quality Speed.

      Limited Lowband = Any Data Cap (regardless of limit) with less then 720HD Quality Speed.

      FCC should literally make these terms "Required" when advertising internet service or be charged penalty fees.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        observer, 9 Sep 2014 @ 1:11pm

        Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

        OFCOM here in the UK came down hard on companies advertising a limited service as unlimited. Usually they mentioned the cap somewhere in the small print, and sometimes didn't even specify it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 1:25pm

        Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

        720HD using which compression?
        10 bit @ 1280 x 720 @ 59.94fps = 140 MB per/sec, or 494 GB per/hr = 1,120 megabits per second.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 1:42pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

          no need to get into the weeds on it.

          The specifications can be hashed out to stay current with technology and based of a FREE LICENSED compression codec. No for-pay codec should be allowed to become a standard in this case.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 10:51am

      Re: What about total monthly allowance?

      That. I assume broadband should be a speed (down/up) that can handle most usual applications. For real high quality video + audio you need 10 mbit for a single user. But it doesn't matter if your upload sucks since downloads need a stead upload stream to happen. There is an ISP here offering 120 mbit down. With 4 mbit up. Really.

      The caps is another thing. I'd go further than you and simply make such caps illegal. If you want to to fight "network congestion" lower the speeds of your plan and shut up. Because caps don't do shit to network congestion.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:04am

        Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

        Lots of peeps round hear seem to not understand broadband.

        You really do not need a lot of up because its only telling the servers it got the message correctly.

        A receiving system can tell it got a correct payload by running an algorithm against any packet it receives. This response packet will be on the order of just a few bytes while the received packet can have over a kilobyte in it. this means that up would only need to be on average 1/1000th of the download to keep up.

        120/4 is more than enough up to handle the entire 120 with plenty to spare.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:11am

          Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

          uh... because people never upload content to the internet right?

          oh wait...

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:28am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

            I was responding to this part.

            "But it doesn't matter if your upload sucks since downloads need a stead upload stream to happen."

            After reading it more... I am still not entirely sure what he meant, so I elaborated.

            I don't have any comments on upload speeds themselves other than yea, if you upload its nice to have more than the norm, but that was not what I was addressing.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:19am

          Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

          "You really do not need a lot of up because its only telling the servers it got the message correctly."

          Speak for yourself. My upstream usage tends to run about half what my downstream usage is. I'm sending a whole lot more than just ack packets.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:32am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

            I do uploads as well, but that is not what I was talking about.

            When reading his statement it looks like he might be implying that you need more than 4 up to handle downloading anything at 120.

            Of course 4 megs blows in upload speed for an up-loader, but I was not addressing that aspect.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              John Fenderson (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:37am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

              Ah, I understand. Yes, you are correct. If what you use broadband for is just watching videos then you don't need very much upload bandwidth at all.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 1:31pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

                Too bad there's not a free market with many providers offering many different options to suit different usage patterns.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Ninja (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:38am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

              In reality I was implying that people use much more than that which slows down the download. Bad wording probably.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Ninja (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:37am

          Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

          Yep. But that considering I don't use it for anything else. Which in this day and age is not even remotely true. On my 10/1 connection if I used Skype my download speeds would already suffer. Gone are the days where Internet was a one-way road.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          RD, 9 Sep 2014 @ 12:36pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

          "You really do not need a lot of up because its only telling the servers it got the message correctly."

          This may be the single dumbest comment made today on the entire internet. WTF really?

          How the hell do you think all those thousands of youtube videos a day GET there? A stork brings them?? Some magical fairy?

          What about ANY cloud storage or backup? Again, is it magic that moves your pics and documents and system backup files to the cloud?

          Please learn how things work before speaking again. You are lowering the IQ of everyone who reads your tripe.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 1:46pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What about total monthly allowance?

            Ouch bro... you need some context and super fast!

            I think you might be the one spewing the tripe more than myself.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:09am

      Re: What about total monthly allowance?

      I agree that it is the data caps keeping people from using their bandwidth right now, but 100 GB is too little. Why data caps at all? Here I have a 80/40 Megabit connection with a theoretical limit of 2000 GB pr month. Theoretical meaning that if you cross that limit for several months in a row, they will write you a warning and if it continues they will lower the speed. I have never heard of that happening to anyone.
      They are, by the way, lying when they say that a 4 Megabit connection is enough for HD (or super HD). On Netflix we can calculate this easily. They say on their webpage that HD takes 2.3 GB/hr. We can change that to Mbit/s by first changing it to MegaBytes/hr by multiplying that 2.3 with 1024(1024 MB = 1 GB)and then multiplying with the bits it takes to make a byte(8 bits = 1 byte). Now we have Mbit/hr, so it is a simple matter of dividing that number by 60 twice to get the Mbit/second.
      The full calculation is something like this: (((2.3*1024)*8)/60)/60 = 5.234 Mbit/s.
      This is if no one else is using the connection. So no! 4 Mbit/s isn't enough for HD and neither is 5.3 Mbit/s because Netflix isn't even that good HD. But Netflix won't make any better quality because why make that when people have sucky connections and data caps?
      Car analogy incoming: Would any company survive long by making propellers for flying cars right now?
      We haven't yet scratched the surface of what we can use the internet for, and if the growth is allowed to be stunted anymore by greedy old men, we might never discover it fully.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      eroticreader, 9 Sep 2014 @ 2:54pm

      Re: What about total monthly allowance?

      I completely disagree with your assessment that a 100 GB allowance be the bar for the definition of Broadband. In my humble opinion, ANY Data cap should be ground for disqualification from being call broadband. Data caps add artificial scarcity to the network while giving the ISP an disincentive to improve their service.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      BernardoVerda (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 9:19pm

      Re: What about total monthly allowance?

      Indeed. Except 100 GB is already too tight.

      I use my current DSL provider's 6mbps service -- it's the lowest tier of the four they offer (next up would be 15, 25, and 50).

      I'd actually be willing to pay the additional fee for a faster tier -- except that the data cap is the same, 100 GB, and I'm finding that I already have to monitor my usage as is, already.

      Fortunately, I hear there's at least one or two established, decent DSL competitors in my region, who'll provide more (and for less), and maybe cable as well (thank god I'm not in the USA), so I'm going shopping...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David Dutton, 27 Sep 2014 @ 12:49am

      Re: What about total monthly allowance?

      I have no data caps, no port block, no throttle

      However, I have a unique setup for a residence, and I PAY FOR IT

      112x20Mbps docsus 3 cable modem. That's 14MB/s down and 2.5MB up. It's a business class TWC cable modem paired with a Twc business phone (it has its own modem). With the phone, they guarantee you low latency & jitter, and priority repair. Also priority bandwidth over residential while anywhere in the TWC network

      So come prime time .. No slow downs

      Residents can buy this package for 125$/month.. But no priority , data caps and throttling exist etc

      I pay 359$/mo for my connection. ITS WORTH IT. Plus I can afford it. I also have an asus router/hub/AP with dual wan ports. So if the cable modem goes down, it switches to DSL. Or I can set it to load balance mode... And gain more speed. No point. Most sites won't let me hit 112Mbps. It's more for multiple family devices using ut at once so we don't slow down

      It's funny... Pay 2-3Xs more and all those pesky restrictions go away

      I hear ATT is testing 1Gbps fiber to home in Texas. It's useless. 300GB cap..you could hit that in a day. I DL 1-2 TB ok ph f data a month

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David Dutton, 27 Sep 2014 @ 12:49am

      Re: What about total monthly allowance?

      I have no data caps, no port block, no throttle

      However, I have a unique setup for a residence, and I PAY FOR IT

      112x20Mbps docsus 3 cable modem. That's 14MB/s down and 2.5MB up. It's a business class TWC cable modem paired with a Twc business phone (it has its own modem). With the phone, they guarantee you low latency & jitter, and priority repair. Also priority bandwidth over residential while anywhere in the TWC network

      So come prime time .. No slow downs

      Residents can buy this package for 125$/month.. But no priority , data caps and throttling exist etc

      I pay 359$/mo for my connection. ITS WORTH IT. Plus I can afford it. I also have an asus router/hub/AP with dual wan ports. So if the cable modem goes down, it switches to DSL. Or I can set it to load balance mode... And gain more speed. No point. Most sites won't let me hit 112Mbps. It's more for multiple family devices using ut at once so we don't slow down

      It's funny... Pay 2-3Xs more and all those pesky restrictions go away

      I hear ATT is testing 1Gbps fiber to home in Texas. It's useless. 300GB cap..you could hit that in a day. I DL 1-2 TB ok ph f data a month

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TasMot (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 10:37am

    Why even bother with the effort to "redefine" broadband. Just produce the charts that show broadband speeds available by area. Here, only 4/1 is available. There 100/15 is available. Let people choose to look at the actual speeds, not a definition that will have to be revised again when the need for even more speed arrives.

    The actual definition of "high speed" was a 2400 baud modem when I first got "online". What's that about .02 Mbps or whatever. The definition is going to keep changing.

    In reality, 1 Gbps aka 1000 Mbps should be the definition of high speed broadband not 10 or 25 Mbps. Why doesn't the FCC look to the future instead of the past?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 10:45am

      Re:

      Why even bother with the effort to "redefine" broadband. Just produce the charts that show broadband speeds available by area. Here, only 4/1 is available. There 100/15 is available. Let people choose to look at the actual speeds, not a definition that will have to be revised again when the need for even more speed arrives.

      Two reasons. First, telling people where broadband is relatively better is not much help if there are substantial reasons they cannot avail themselves of it -- too far from work, too expensive a neighbourhood, etc. Second, at least in some cases (may or may not apply here), the law may provide different levels of government intervention depending on whether the official definition says an area is well served, poorly served, or completely unserved. If that's the case here, then a definition that is trivially easy to meet defines all areas as "well served" and would limit government intervention. A definition that matches what most consumers think it should mean would define vast areas as underserved and permit more intervention to try to correct the situation.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 10:47am

      Re:

      I would initially agree with you, and think they should do that anyways, but the Definitions do need to be there.

      You may be technically competent enough to understand those numbers but most are not. A proper definition that does change as speeds increase are beneficial to the public at large and should additionally be legally enforceable.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        AricTheRed (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 10:52am

        Re: Re:

        "You may be technically competent enough to understand those numbers but most are not."

        Even my 88 year old grandmother knows 10mbps is more than 4mbps.

        She might think she needs 10mbps to email me dirty jokes and play HD solitare, but that is another issue...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Chronno S. Trigger (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:01am

          Re: Re: Re:

          No, your 88 year old grandmother knows that 10 is larger then 4. Does she know what that all means? Would she understand 100ms latency vs. 50ms latency? Just because a number is bigger does not necessarily make it better. That is what the FCC is trying to do, make it easier for those who just don't know.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 12:24pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Does she know that 1Gbs is better than 10Mbs?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:01am

      Re:

      Yes, the definition of broad changes and that's why this number shouldn't be set in stone but rather in the average speed you need to use the main services online properly. This includes user generated stuff so upstream also matters.

      In reality, 1 Gbps aka 1000 Mbps should be the definition of high speed broadband not 10 or 25 Mbps. Why doesn't the FCC look to the future instead of the past?

      When such speed is needed then I agree with you. For now it should be anything in the range 10/5 to 25/15. This should fit most needs.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:23am

        Re: Re:

        But you have got it backwards in this case. Nobody will build a highspeed service and just hope the data caps or speeds rise with it. This is a case where the infrastructure must be in place before the services follow.
        Broadband speeds MUST be ahead of the curve before advances in services can happen.
        To get people to move into your city, you first have to build houses for them, have work and schools, otherwise people will never even consider moving there.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Ninja (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:34am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I kind of agree with you. Except most cities start from people willing to explore the value of the area or something. So it should be some symbiotic beast here. The market sees better speeds and develops products for it, the ISPs see the need for more speed and adjust plans and possibly prices accordingly.

          The issue is the ISPs aren't willing to do their part because there's no competition. I went from my old ISP to a new because they offered both higher download speeds and much, much better upload speeds. In fact the upload was the main reason. I wanted to store over 100 Gb on my Google drive but this is quite... Unfeasible over 1mbit. When I called customer service they told me "users don't need more than that". So when an ISP with better speeds popped in the neighborhood I switched.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:53am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yes! My point too, but my comment was inspired by this line:
            When such speed is needed then I agree with you. For now it should be anything in the range 10/5 to 25/15. This should fit most needs.

            25/15 is too little for the future. The US is already too far behind so you need a bigger jump. Sure it might fit the average couple right now, but it needs to fit tomorrow as well.
            Why is it that you shouldn't be able to access all your data, where-ever you are almost as fast as if you were home? Why should it take so long to upload 100 GB? That amount of data is nothing today with fotos, homemovies and media being digital. The technology exists for certain and is ready for deployment.
            I am not saying the Telcos should be doing this all themselves, but all industries and the whole country should be interested in developing the internet infrastructure; the cost will be great but the growth will be much greater.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 12:36pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "I wanted to store over 100 Gb on my Google drive..."

            That, Ninja, is a lot of porn. :-)

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Ninja (profile), 10 Sep 2014 @ 2:55am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              lmao, coincidentally it's mostly music so I can access wherever! I'm thinking spideroak or some more secure service for my personal files as an off-site backup. And it's my family pictures and stuff I'd not like to lose before people start making troll faces hahaha

              Porn can be downloaded again whenever ;/

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:35am

        Re: Re:

        i think some would be happy with a sliding scale, like how car manufacturers and the EPA have to increase MPG and reduce emissions.

        This year, crappy 4/2 service.
        Next year, the lowest speed will be 5/2
        After that, the lowest speed will be 6/3

        make the upspeed a fraction (1/2) of the downspeed, and increase the minimum downspeed each year.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 2:10pm

      Re:

      The biggest reason we need to redefine broadband isn't to provide better services...its so we can all watch the veins in Randall L. Stephenson's head (CEO of AT&T) pulse with seething anger/greed and then burst before splattering the screen with red gooey goodness....

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 10:38am

    Basic, high-quality?

    Consumer behavior strongly reinforces the conclusion that a 10 Mbps service exceeds what many Americans need today to enable basic, high-quality transmissions.


    This is deceptive, but technically true. "Basic, high-quality transmissions" is a very low bar that can be met with an old-fashioned 300 baud modem. Their standard is meaningless in this context.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 10:39am

    AT&T: "Given the pace at which the industry is investing in advanced capabilities, there is no present need to redefine “advanced” capabilities..."

    That pace is currently *not fucking upgrading your networks* which is why we have this problem AT&T...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 10:42am

      Re:

      Verizon: "At the same time, the data confirm that services providing 4 Mbps/1 Mbps are still popular and meaningful to consumers."

      Yeah, when compared to no internet in their area I am sure 4 Mbps/1 Mbps would be 'popular' and 'meaningful'.....

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Erik Grant, 9 Sep 2014 @ 10:41am

    I especially like the part where they claim broadband shouldn't be redefined because it makes comparisons meaningless. On the one hand, they talk about how rapidly changing the environment is. On the other hand, they should only be rated on old metrics because that's more "meaningful" somehow. Internet today doesn't mean the same thing it did 20 years ago, nor 10 years ago, not even really 5 years ago. It is changing now. These companies need to change or die.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    beech, 9 Sep 2014 @ 10:41am

    I always love how isps try to use the argument "but we have higher speeds and no one is buying them" argument. Maybe because you charge way too much for that crap? If I am the sole provider of food to the country, and I give away bread and water for free, but meat costs $1000/pound, do I get to claim that people don't really want meat?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 10:42am

    Has anyone plotted cable cutting against available broadband speeds? Would such a plot explain the freakout?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 10:43am

    Competition

    Since the FCC clearly knows about the competition issue, it is all over their own chart, what are they doing about that?

    For the network engineers around, let's say they do make 25 mbps the base for broadband. Other than initial upgrades to their infrastructure (routers, maybe a few more fiber lines) is there an ongoing cost to providing a higher bandwidth?

    As far as the cellular/wireless parts, it sure appears to me that the airwaves belong to the people, and are merely rented by the providers (I know they say bought, but that is a misnomer) and letting them define how 'our' airwaves can be used is an abuse of the deal where we let them use the frequencies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 10 Sep 2014 @ 9:16am

      Re: Competition

      Other than initial upgrades to their infrastructure (routers, maybe a few more fiber lines) is there an ongoing cost to providing a higher bandwidth?

      All those high speed transmissions wear out the tubes faster, so they need to be replaced more often.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    dfed (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 10:47am

    Steps to create better broadband services and customer satisfaction from the archives of Big Broadband company training:

    1) Cut a hole in the box.
    2) Put your junk in that box.
    3) Charge the customer exorbitant prices to open the box, bundled with services they don't want.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 10:54am

    wow they are so transparent.

    Although the industry remains well ahead of the curve,
    - (lie)

    Given the pace at which the industry is investing in advanced capabilities,
    - (lie - the pace has slowed while the price has drastically increased)

    The Commission should undertake a more rigorous, fact-based and statutory analysis before determining what, if any, definitional revisions are warranted at this time.
    (thats rich considering they lie their heads off at every turn)

    Consumer behavior strongly reinforces the conclusion that a 10 Mbps service exceeds what many Americans need today to enable basic, high-quality transmissions
    - (lie)

    AT&T data show that, in areas where its customers have access to a service that offers download speeds greater than 10 Mbps, many consumers choose to buy services with lower download speeds
    - (misleading) "many consumers" may also want Gigabit.

    At the same time, the data confirm that services providing 4 Mbps/1 Mbps are still popular and meaningful to consumers.
    - (misleading / lie)

    The Commission suggests that higher speeds may be needed to handle “super HD” video traffic, but even if true, given the limited presence of super HD video at this time, and the many other Internet services and functionality that can be easily accommodated with a 4/1 connection, there is no basis for finding that a connection must be able to handle one particular type of video in order to meet the definition of broadband.
    - (utterly misleading) the commission is looking at the future not how US Telecoms may wish things to be.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Chris-Mouse (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:00am

    Given the pace at which the industry is investing in advanced capabilities, there is no present need to redefine “advanced” capabilities


    Of course there's no need to redefine "advanced." The current standard is well in advance of what the ISPs are providing now, and at the rate they're upgrading, it will be a very long time before they catch up to the standard.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:24am

    Some things...

    First of all, they seem to be completely ignoring the fact that an entire generation of youths are growing up with the internet as a part of their life and will push the limits to their maximum. Being unable or unwilling to keep up with this generation is not going to turn out favorably for those complaining that 10Mbps is too high.
    Secondly, as it was covered already, content comes with higher speeds and higher speeds (are supposed to) come with content. It's an endless cycle of evolution of the internet. The cable companies are putting up road blocks (or toll booths if you will) which is halting that progress for the sake of money and power.
    Last, 10Mbps is too slow and you're right that the cable companies would have cried up a torrential storm the likes that even Florida has yet to see if 25Mbps is proposed (now). They should have started at 25 and then 'caved' in to 10Mbps. You'd upset the consumers, but probably keep the cable companies happy.

    Addendum: There should be a law restricting cable company employees to utilize their own service at the lowest speed available. Make them sleep in the bed they made and see how adequate it really is.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:25am

    Haha, this story was 2 down from Techdirt in my RSS feeds.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:27am

    > Lots of peeps round hear seem to not understand broadband.
    > You really do not need a lot of up because its only telling the servers it got the message correctly.


    Y'know, if you're D/Ling vids from netflix, perhaps you are correct.

    But if you're U/Ling vids to Yahoo, or system images to a repository, or running a game server, perhaps not so much.

    It's not how big it is, it's what you do with it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:28am

    These ISPs don't want broadband speed ratings increased for other reasons and none they're willing to admit.

    1) If broadband is reclassified as 10mb and up, those only offering slow DSL will suddenly find themselves not offering broadband at all. This means, rather than sitting on high profit margins on slow service, they'll actually have to spend money to upgrade their service. And, their shareholders are loathe to permit them the cap-ex spending that would require.

    2) Many of these ISPs also offer expensive, over-priced pay TV service. If broadband is reclassified as 10mb and up, and they go through with upgrades in order compete with actual broadband companies, consumers will have more ability to drop that overpriced pay TV service in favor of OTA and less expensive and arguably better over-the-top services, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and others. The ISPs see this hastening their migration to dumb-pipes, something they should be already.

    But, they don't want either of these things and consumers don't have much say in the matter because where are they gonna go? Most consumers have at most one or perhaps two choices. The few that have three or more should consider themselves extremely fortunate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:31am

    It's actually a wonder none of these companies are charged with fraud and false advettising.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Trevor, 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:39am

    Real Life

    Last year, we had AT&T Internet. It was 60 bucks a month, bundled with a land line (We didn't even use it, but it kept the price down for some reason) and our rate was 5MBps down/ 3MBps Up.

    We usually saw speeds around 1.5 down, .5 up.

    We moved this past August, to an area that only has Verizon fios. Our new rates are 50 MBps Down / 30 MBps Up, but so far have maxed out at 38 down / 25 up (Still, VERY FAST compared to the old set up.)

    Here's the kicker: Netflix operates at the SAME SPEED on the Fios setup as it did on the AT&T setup. It even has buffering throughout the playback, sometimes making us re-start Netflix to try and get a better connection.

    We pay for up to 50/30, get "close", and Netflix still acts like it's on 5/3.

    PEOPLE PAY FOR LOWER AMOUNTS OF BANDWIDTH WHEN HIGHER TIERS ARE AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY KNOW THEY WILL GET NO WHERE NEAR THE PROMISED SPEEDS, AND EVEN IF THEY DO, YOU STILL THROTTLE THE STUFF THEY USE IT FOR.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:50am

      Re: Real Life

      Behold the joy of buying "up to" a given speed. "Up to" only indicates the speed your service will always be lower than.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Trevor, 9 Sep 2014 @ 12:02pm

        Re: Re: Real Life

        Exactly. I know this, and knew it when we signed up.

        Still.

        This is why we can't have nice things.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Lord Binky, 9 Sep 2014 @ 12:28pm

          Re: Re: Re: Real Life

          Yep, I had an small cable ISP that eventually got bought up and fixed, but at the time they offered 50/5 which was true as long as it is within their network, they had their own in network speed test you could verify it with. It makes sense to promise that on one hand, because you can't control the broader internet the customer is trying to reach. Problem was their connection to the broader internet was akin to feeding a firehose with a drinking staw. 70ms on the first hop out of their network and you couldn't break 10/2 on any external speedtest. Typical latency for games sat at ~120ms. All around dishonest and wrong though, selling a connection to the 'internet' for which the business could not possibly support because it's connection to the internet was lacking.

          If the ISP wasn't connected to the internet, I would never be a customer. Their intranet is of no interest to me, it is the INTERNET that I am paying them to provide. If the bottleneck in the user's connection to the internet occurs anywhere on the ISP's lines or equipment, they most certainly are the problem.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            John Fenderson (profile), 10 Sep 2014 @ 9:50am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Real Life

            "It makes sense to promise that on one hand, because you can't control the broader internet the customer is trying to reach."

            It doesn't actually. What would make sense is a guarantee of the bandwidth you get between the ISP and the ISP's provider. As you point out, network speeds internal to the ISP are meaningless, however the ISP can certainly guarantee a minimum bandwidth on the pipe between them and their upstream connection.

            "If the ISP wasn't connected to the internet, I would never be a customer."

            Of course not, because then they wouldn't be an ISP.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:41am

    I have the slowest internet package from Comcast, because internet pricing is so outrageously high in my area. I'm paying over $50 a month and my internet can barely keep up with streaming one 720p YouTube video.

    I don't want to pay over $50 a month for internet service. I can't use DSL, because all the DSL in my area is overloaded and the equivalent of 56k dial-up internet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 11:43am

    I'm just surprised Big Cable hasn't tried to separate up and down speeds into billing. ya know two way street internet .

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    TruthHurts, 9 Sep 2014 @ 12:17pm

    It's all about greed, plain and simple.

    Considering that many countries deliver gigabit to every door step, our "basic" capabilities requirement is 100MBit/S at a minimum for 10 bucks a month, with ZERO caps / limits / etc...

    Then, advanced users should be able to get 1000Mbit/S for about 20 bucks a month.

    The only thing preventing this is the money that the government gave AT&T, Verizon, etc was spent on executive bonuses, as well as other unnamed extravagences rather than the infrastructure it was given for. Completely wasted on incompetent executives that only care about themselves.

    Now, when the piper comes a whistlin', they're like "oh my gosh, no one needs more that 640k".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JoeCool (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 12:25pm

    Service still sucks in smaller cities or towns

    I have Century Link DSL (they bought Qwest), and they have two options - 1.5M down in most places, or 5M down if you live in a tiny subset of the city (which I don't). There's no cable over most of the city, much less cable internet. There's one wireless service that offers 3M down, and up to 12M down for their pricey top end service. That's all the internet available here.

    It's like this in any city with less than a half million people. ISPs fight the threat of moving the bar to 10M because 99% of the US would suddenly TECHNICALLY no longer have broadband connections. Virtually no one in my city would, and they have no intention of improving service to better than 5M anytime in the next couple decades. They tell me it'll be years before they get 5M to where I live, and the 5M service stops just ONE HOUSE down from where I live.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Almost Anonymous, 9 Sep 2014 @ 1:55pm

    Let's go to the horse's mouth

    AT&T
    Pro - 3Mbps $29.95/mo for 12mos. 1-yr term req'd
    Elite - 6Mbps $34.95/mo for 12mos. 1-yr term req'd
    Max Plus - 18Mbps $44.95/mo for 12 mos. 1-yr term req'd
    Power - 45Mbps $64.95/mo for 12mos. 1-yr term req'd

    First, let's not even talk about the ridiculous prices and term requirements. We'll just look at speeds. Of 4 packages offered, 2 are below the proposed new 10Mbps definition for broadband. So yeah, I guess they *are* freaking out, because then they couldn't call these crappy overpriced packages "broadband" anymore.

    Verizon
    Option 1 $74.99/month for 1 year. Plus taxes, fees & equip. charges. 25/25 Mbps Internet - Download 2-hr. HD video (5GB) in 27.3 min.
    Option 2 $84.99/month for 1 year. Plus taxes, fees & equip. charges. 50/50 Mbps Internet - Download 2-hr. HD video (5GB) in 13.7 min.
    Option 3 $94.99/month for 1 year. Plus taxes, fees & equip. charges. 75/75 Mbps Internet - Download 2-hr. HD video (5GB) in 5.3 min.
    Option 4 $134.99/month for 1 year. Plus taxes, fees & equip. charges. 150/150 Mbps Internet - Download 2-hr. HD video (5GB) in 4.6 min.

    Wow, Verizon! Even though your prices are nothing short of highway robbery, those speeds aren't too shabby. What are you worried about, all of these packages are WAY over the proposed 10Mbps definition of broadband. So where are you hiding these 4/1Mbps packages you are worried about?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 2:31pm

    I look at these responses and just laugh. Let me point out the real telling action here that just buries all these telco's claims in a junk heap.

    When Google fired up their internet service, how long did it take the telcos to figure out they were going to have to change their service packages to remain competitive? Since it had been that way up till Google fiber went live, it sure wasn't in the plans to increase services and speeds until forced to.

    I've been hearing rumors of Google fiber being considered in the Austin area of Texas. One of the articles claimed AT&T would be happy to roll out 1 gig service provided they got the same deal Google got. They could have done this at any time and chose not to. That is what is wrong with the internet service across this nation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    TestPilotDummy, 9 Sep 2014 @ 5:03pm

    Origins of the FCC authority

    I read post after post about cost and upstream/downstream, data caps, and on and on.

    Yet what I don't hear is talk about the FCC's original mission statement (not the current ones) gone awol.

    What I don't hear is how the FCC's engineers have regulated power and frequency in a Corporate FASCIST interest, instead of in the public interest.

    What I don't hear is how FCC's mission creep has now BOHICA'd the internet.

    What I don't hear is how if you give your consent and authority to one an entity (with a history of FAIL and scrapped mission statement e.g. RF emissions in the public interest) and one day into the future expect said authority revokes it.

    What I don't understand is why people quickly jumped to embrace the FCC to defend their "precious f-ing net neutrality"

    Do I have the answers to net neutrality?
    I don't.
    But I wouldn't use the FCC to defend against it. It's like after the next Bankster fail, allowing criminal banks to remain--and worse yet, set the policy. When you already bailed them out previous and there has been ZERO reform.

    I suggest you all go find the FCC's original mission statement and read it (hint it isn't even on the FCC's website anymore), and understand my position about that broken agency and the fascist control of power and frequency by FCC engineers, in the corporate interest.

    There's no TIN here. Just oath breaking scumbaggery. And a big screw you to the public spectrum from commercial broadcasters and telco's.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Atkray (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 6:50pm

    Possible solution

    I think the FCC needs a pricing limit. If your speed is in the bottom 1/3 of the national average then you must provide it free of charge.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    1st Dread Pirate Roberts (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 8:22pm

    100Mbps down, 25Mbps up

    The minimum speed for broadband should be 100Mbps down, and 25Mbps up. If you don't want to provide those speeds, then open your pipes at no charge to competitors until you DO provide those speeds.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    BernardoVerda (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 9:01pm

    "Although the industry remains well ahead of the curve..."

    AT&T? That phrase you keep using -- I don't think means what you think it means...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    vastrightwing, 10 Sep 2014 @ 3:36am

    it's just a pipe

    This whole thing is framed wrong. The Internet is a basic utility (pipe, wire, etc.). It should be treated as basic infrastructure like roads and bridges. AT&T and Verizon should be treated like any infrastructure builder. Let's contract them to build it and maintain it. Nothing more. The idea that I have verizon or comcast is silly. It's a G.D. wire with a switch behind it. Nothing more. Stop the non sense of disallowing municipal broad band. Stop dancing around defining what broad band means. Turn communications companies into contractors. Hear that guys? You're nothing more than wire hangers! Go back to work and STFU!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 10 Sep 2014 @ 9:53am

      Re: it's just a pipe

      A million times this. That's what title II reclassification would do, and is why I'm solidly in favor of that.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Sep 2014 @ 12:32pm

        Re: Re: it's just a pipe

        Title II has a lot of attachments from the ILEC/CLEC days, such as line sharing, billing standardization, qualification for LEC status, et al. It certainly wouldn't be a perfect fit like some are suggesting. I'm more in favor of a patchwork system, but also I would really like to see some sort of government mandated fiber build-out which would allow anyone to hop onto the system. They could either just provide dark fiber or at layer2 access, see Internet2 as an example of would could work.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 10 Sep 2014 @ 1:53pm

          Re: Re: Re: it's just a pipe

          "Title II has a lot of attachments from the ILEC/CLEC days, such as line sharing, billing standardization, qualification for LEC status, et al."

          None of which would have to be applied to the internet. It's already established that the FCC has wide latitude in terms of what aspects of Title II would and would not apply.

          Personally, though, I wouldn't mind if every one of those things applied to ISPs. I think that would benefit everyone:

          Line sharing: one of the primary goals that reclassification proponents such as myself want to achieve.

          Billing standardization: Pure win for consumers

          LEC status: makes sense -- a regional ISP is pretty much a LEC anyway, just for internet instead of phone.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 Sep 2014 @ 5:51pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: it's just a pipe

            Becoming a CLEC varies state by state, and can take a year to get certified added with additional lawyer fees and registration fees which just further hampers registration. There has to be something better for all parties...

            Tariff fees work well on standard 2/4 pair copper, but when you are talking about multiple connections, such as wireless (3G, LTE, 802.11), fiber, Coax, and POTs, the technology differs too much to be able to set fees as they are constantly changing. Wireless especially: a,b,g,n, WiMax, et al.

            In addition, where can the regional ISP connect to the current carrier in a system where everything is open to all. You are no longer talking about a system that has strict demarcation zones, like LATAs for ILECs. Should a regional carrier have to CoLocate in California for a network in NYC, since the main infrastructure is place in that region and have to pay taxes for every state crossed.

            Sorry I work in the business and realize it's not the same, but yes the FCC has the ability to change the rules to some extent. I just feel that a new network should be started, where a regional ISP could purchase dark fiber and run DWDM fiber at 100Mb if they wish, and the set cost is easily understood because, well fiber is fiber as long as it can handle the 1300nm wavelengths.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rocky, 10 Sep 2014 @ 6:42am

    I've had 100/100 for 10 years now, it costs me ~$30/month. If I upgrade to 250/100 it costs me ~$60/month. There is no datacap.

    I also have 4G mobile internet for $30/month, no datacap there either.

    From my point of view the US sounds like a 3rd world country when it comes to internet connectivity and prices.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 10 Sep 2014 @ 9:56am

      Re:

      "From my point of view the US sounds like a 3rd world country when it comes to internet connectivity and prices."

      When it comes to internet connectivity, the US is pretty much a backwater. However, many 3rd world countries are far superior to the US when it comes to the internet, so I'm skeptical of that comparison.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Robert P (profile), 10 Sep 2014 @ 1:55pm

    "happy" with comcast speed

    I just noticed something interesting in this article about Comcast. The plan I'm paying for (for internet) says I will get 12Mbps download. I'm actually getting 25Mb (or more, I've seen peaks over 50). Given what I'm actually getting, I can see now reason to pay for more service. This behavior gives them the ability to say "...many consumers choose to buy services with lower download speeds."

    Makes me wonder if this is why I'm getting faster speeds than they're "required" to give according to the plan I'm purchasing. If I was consistently getting 12, I'd definitely be paying more to get faster service.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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