Broadband Providers Say Consumers Don't Need Speeds Of 25 Mbps

Defining broadband as speeds of at least 25 Mbps “would be entirely out of step with current consumer conceptions,” a trade group for Internet service providers is telling the Federal Communications Commission.

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association's comments come in response to news that the FCC is poised to redefine broadband as speeds of at least 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream — marking a significant increase from the current definition of 4 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream.

The trade group argues that the FCC's definition of broadband should reflect the speeds that people need for “current” and “regular” services. “The record ... reflects broad consensus that the level of service necessary to enable such uses of broadband — including video streaming, gaming, voice-over-Internet-protocol, social media, and other applications — is well below the 25 Mbps/3 Mbps threshold currently under consideration,” the NCTA says in comments made public late last week.



The organization specifically takes issue with statements recently filed by Netflix and the advocacy group Public Knowledge.

“Netflix ... bases its call for a 25 Mbps download threshold on what it believes consumers need for streaming 4K and ultra-HD video content ... notwithstanding the consensus among others in the industry that 25 Mbps is significantly more bandwidth than is needed for 4K streaming,” NCTA argues.

“Public Knowledge asserts in conclusory fashion that an 'average' U.S. household constantly streams at least three high-definition movies simultaneously while also running various “online backup services and other applications' -- without providing any evidence indicating that such usage is at all 'average.' "

A 25 Mbps connection is fast enough to download a 6-gigabyte movie in 16 minutes, according to a report issued late last year by the Commerce Department.

Currently, almost one in five Americans (17%) lack access to connections at speeds of at least 25 Mbps, according to the FCC. In rural areas, 53% of rural Americans lacking access to broadband connections of a least 25 Mbps.

The proposal to redefine broadband is part of an upcoming FCC report on the state of broadband. That report is expected to conclude that broadband isn't deployed in a "reasonable and timely fashion," especially in rural parts of the country.

The FCC is slated to consider redefining broadband as its meeting this Thursday.


9 comments about "Broadband Providers Say Consumers Don't Need Speeds Of 25 Mbps".
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  1. J S from Ideal Living Media, January 26, 2015 at 4:36 p.m.

    This is our most desperate hour. Help us, FCC-Wan Kenobi! You're our only hope!

  2. Mark Pilipczuk from MAP Consulting LLC, January 26, 2015 at 4:51 p.m.

    I think it will be fine for legacy cable companies to provide sub-25 Mbps speeds. They just shouldn't be allowed to call it "broadband."

  3. John Grono from GAP Research, January 26, 2015 at 5:51 p.m.

    Just like we would never need a car with more than 4 cylinders that can go faster than 45 mph with a fuel economy better than 21 mpg and come in a colour other than black.

  4. Leonard Zachary from T___n__, January 26, 2015 at 7:29 p.m.

    This is like saying most Americans do not need light bulbs greater than 25 watts. If there was competition in the fixed line broadband industry this statement would never be made, the free markets would take care of it but we really do not have free markets.....we have corporate lobbied markets.

  5. Joey Durel from Lafayette Consolidated Government, January 26, 2015 at 9:34 p.m.

    We will never know what we need until people are given the opportunity to create with more than what they have available. Here in Lafayette, LA, we have been delivering symmetrical gigabit speeds to our schools for several years. We give peer to peer INTRANET gigabit for FREE. WE don't need anyone telling us what we need, our citizens and companies will make that decision for themselves!

  6. Marcelo Salup from Iffective LLC, January 27, 2015 at 8:15 a.m.

    I don't know what's worse:

    1. The arrogance of a self-serving trade group pontificating in such an idiotic manner (the market for personal computers around the world is perhaps three, credit IBM)

    2. The idiots at the FCC for even taking that seriously for over 1 nanosecond

    3. The passivity of the public (me included) who will not start an email campaign against those idiotic pronouncements

  7. Jim Rice from Piiku, January 27, 2015 at 11:18 a.m.

    Love most of these comments. Spot on. The idea of defining broadband show how ridiculous and comical regulation in this space is. The level of group-think stupidity here is breathtaking.

  8. Brian Nakamoto from Tightrope Interactive, Inc., January 27, 2015 at 7:34 p.m.

    4 Mbps ought to be enough for anybody. :)

    I can see why the FCC wants to regulate a bandwidth floor. As someone fortunate to have a connection faster than 25 Mbps, I'm more concerned about my ISP throttling services they view as competition.

  9. Leonard Zachary from T___n__, January 28, 2015 at 11:50 a.m.

    Dear Jim Rice broadband does not have any regulation as it is a information services not telecommunications services. So all of the Internet Protocol that purely defines LTE which provides text, voip calls and other telecommunications services is not regulated. Yes it is comical that the group corporate lobbyists who write the laws and regulations have led Americans enjoy laws and regulations that protect and subsidize legacy big business. Ask how a telecommunications company can state no regulation for broadband and in the same breath ask for subsidies entitled to telecommunications services that run over the same frequency and pipe. Comical yes. The group think is mind boggling too rational.

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