While the debate for net neutrality is still hot, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the body that regulates interstate in the USA and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable has officially changed the meaning of Broadband. According to their 2015 Broadband Progress Report, the Commission has voted to change the definition of broadband which has raised from 4Mbps to 25Mbps download, and the minimum upload speed from 1Mbps to 3Mbps at least in the US for now.
This increment is due to many factors, top of the list being the need to stream Ultra HD content in the near future. Big streaming companies like Netflix, have called for a 25 Mbps download threshold on what it believes consumers need for streaming 4K and Ultra HD video content — despite the fact that only a tiny fraction of consumers in the US use their broadband connections. Based on today’s vote, ISPs could legally advertise speeds from 25Mbps up as broadband, this move will put pressure on ISPs in developing countries. While that speed could be laughably slow in developed nations since they rely a lot on video streaming.
It’s common for ISPs here in Africa to misuse the word Broadband
It’s common for ISPs here in Africa to misuse the word broadband, even with the current 4Mbps limit, the change in definition will force ISPs to increase the speed to homes if they want to tell customers they are selling broadband if at all it will trickle down to our local communications regulators.
ISPs will have to address the pitiful speeds they have offered to rural areas. We are soon to release our findings on internet speeds in Uganda on our wireless networks, one thing is for sure, none of the mobile ISPs will meet the new definition.