Last June, it emerged that the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was beginning the process of establishing a new definition for 'broadband'.
While the earliest home and business broadband speeds were measured in kilobits per second, things have certainly moved on since then, with ultra-high-speed gigabit connections now becoming affordable for families as well as companies. But if 'broadband' is to retain its meaning and relevance as technology continues to advance, its definition needs to be 'recalibrated' from time to time.
When the FCC began the process, the official definition of 'broadband' in the US referred to connections with a minimum downstream speed of 4Mbps. It had been widely expected that the FCC would settle on 10Mbps as the new minimum, but today, as The Next Web reports, the Commission voted in favor of redefining broadband as any connection with a speed of 25Mbps or higher.
This isn't just an issue of semantics either. The change could potentially have quite an impact on Internet service providers (ISPs) in the US, who will no longer be able to market connections slower than 25Mbps as offering 'broadband' speeds.
ISPs may consequently feel pressured to reduce prices on these slower connections - to ensure that they still remain appealing to consumers - or they may even invest more in their networks to boost connection speeds, in order to be able to promote them with the magic 'broadband' buzzword.
The full impact of the changes will no doubt take some time to materialize, though, so don't expect nose-diving prices and skyrocketing connection speeds overnight.
Source: The Next Web