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FCC Finds 68 percent of U.S. Broadband... Isn't

New data from the FCC finds that the majority of broadband internet in the U.S. isn't really broadband at all – at least not according to the FCC's definition of what high-speed internet broadband access should be.

The new definition of broadband by the FCC is 4 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream. The FCC report (pdf) found that 68 percent of so-called U.S. broadband connections didn't live up to that standard.

58 percent of the connections measured couldn't get above 3 Mbps downstream, and 49 percent of connections had upstream speeds slower than 768 kbps.

Granted, internet service providers offer different tiers of speed at various price points, so it's possible that many subscribers opt for the slower than 4 Mbps/1 Mbps to save some cash on their monthly bills.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • irtehyar
    I'm shocked! And here I thought they *all* provided enough bandwidth to fill up your monthly cap within 3 days!

    /snicker
    Reply
  • mboyer87
    This isn't shocking at all.
    Reply
  • officeguy
    Isn't that false advertisement? Correct me if I am wrong, but there isn't a term for speed between dial up and broadband. I guess they cant say it is dial up so they round out the speed to broadband.
    Reply
  • SlickyFats
    Hmm. I didn't know there was a definition for Broadband. I do however now know that my 5Mbps Down and 500Kbps UP isn't broadband. Thanks
    Reply
  • bustapr
    Lol, in my area, the only ISP abuses. Theyre billing me $35/month for 1mb. And the max download speed is 54 kb/s. They call it broadband, is it enough to report them to FCC?
    Reply
  • megamanx00
    Hell, I could have told them that.
    Reply
  • g00fysmiley
    yea... nto really surprising, in my old place my speeds were pathetic, 2-3 meg down and .5 meg up... payign the same service in a different part of town where i bough tmy hous ei get 25 down and 3 up
    Reply
  • rubix_1011
    Is this data tested from an average selection of end-users' residencies, or from the broadband offices/hubs?

    The actual service the user receives depends solely on the carrier medium between hubs and the user's residence...this often is average to poor...and in the case of cable broadband, it is shared within the local area, so of course this could be saturated by a small group of users depending on the setup.

    Please provide more detailed information on 'how' the study was done to show/prove their findings.
    Reply
  • Transmaniacon
    The fastest internet in my area is RoadRunner, and the highest available upstream is 512kbps...
    Reply
  • Socialdisorder
    officeguyIsn't that false advertisement? Correct me if I am wrong, but there isn't a term for speed between dial up and broadband. I guess they cant say it is dial up so they round out the speed to broadband.
    Not really, false advertising or deceptive advertising is considered false or misleading. You know about the speeds when you sign up YOU personally are aware of the speeds. It should be categorized as low speed broadband. Now if they were selling 6mbps and charging an insanely low rate..and it ended up 768k...then yes that would be false advertising.
    Reply