The Full Spectrum

Jan 29 2015   10:31AM GMT

FCC showing its teeth on broadband speed. Time for Ofcom to grow a pair

Alex Scroxton Alex Scroxton Profile: Alex Scroxton


News reaches the Full Spectrum that later this week the FCC, the US Ofcom, is to vote to change what is defined as, and possibly what can be sold as broadband.

The FCC wants to change the actual definition of broadband from 4Mbps to 25Mbps, which would leave millions of Americans who thought they had broadband with, well, not dial-up obviously, but not quite broadband, either.

The big hope is that this move will make the US broadband market more competitive, and force the big providers to improve their average speeds, for which read, put fibre in the ground.

Wouldn’t it be nice if Ofcom would consider following suit?

Ofcom’s new chief exec Sharon White will formally take over at the comms regulator very soon. Forcing the issue of broadband speed early on would be a good way for her to demonstrate that Ofcom means business.

Oh, who am I kidding? Upping the UK definition of basic broadband from 2Mbps to 24Mbps – which is conveniently BDUK’s current target for superfast – would upset BT and make it harder for it to dismiss complaints over speed (and lack of fibre).

We can’t have that, can we?

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  • DaveH1200
    Who are you kidding, indeed? BT are quite happy to sell "broadband" in rural (and even suburb-edge) locations guaranteeing only 256kb minimum download speeds, insufficient for streamed video (even in a tiny window), while advertising 8Mb...
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