updated 01:20 pm EDT, Fri May 18, 2007
Definition of broadband
An act proposed by a hearing in the US House of Representatives could change the definition of broadband, and have potentially far-reaching consequences, writes Ars Technica. Though both corporations and the government appear to be in favor of a national broadband plan, the Broadband Census of America Act (BCAA) is being formulated to determine just which areas need improved Internet access.
The current controversy is over what the FCC considers broadband versus practical reality. At present the organization says that broadband is 200Kbps; this is challenged by the current draft of the BCAA, which would start broadband at 2Mbps, a faster speed in many cases than outlying ADSL services. The Act would also redefine which areas have broadband, since at present, even a single access point qualifies a ZIP code.
The draft is presently opposed by groups like the CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association), whose member companies may be burdened with raising speeds to acceptable levels. One counter-proposal was that the speed threshold stay at 200Kbps, but that people might be allowed to see what other speeds were available in a given region.