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FCC ups 'broadband' bar, bans apartment phone deals

updated 04:35 pm EDT, Wed March 19, 2008

FCC ups 'broadband' bar

The Federal Communications Commission has voted to change how broadband access in the US is measured, say reports. The old system was been criticized by various parties as distorted, using outdated and overly generous criteria; "high speed" was considered to be 200Kbps or faster, and access was sometimes considered to be widespread in ZIP codes where only one connection was present. Because this produced bad data, the FCC argues that it hindered any serious federal broadband policies, as well as how much investment would be made into infrastructure, whether public or private.

"When companies and investors put money into e-commerce or voice-over Internet protocol or Internet video," says Commissioner Michael Copps, "they need to know what kind of broadband infrastructure America actually has."

Many specifics of the FCC's changes have yet to be published, but some details are already known. "Basic broadband" now consists of download speeds between 768Kbps and 1.5Mbps, instead of 200Kbps; both upload and download speeds must be reported, and instead of two levels of access ratings, there are now five. ISPs must reveal the number of subscribers in each census tract, and may eventually be required to show how much they charge.

In another matter, Reuters notes that the FCC has voted to ban exclusive deals between phone companies and apartment complex owners, voiding any already in place. These deals are said to hurt market competition, at least in part because they stop people from choosing rival "triple-play" packages that combine voice, TV and Internet service. This echoes a similar undoing of exclusive deals between apartments and cable companies.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. dagamer34

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2007



    ABOUT FREAKING TIME. 200kbps isn't even broadband. It's like super dial-up. Regardless, it's still dial-up!!

  1. MiMiC

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007


    FCC Not Allowing Deals

    I could understand not limiting user choice, but how is not having a 'group' package not beneficial to some customers. Those wanting other deals should not be hindered i would agree.

  1. eldarkus

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2004



    It looked really nice until I saw the pixelated text. Looks like my Apple IIc. :P

  1. msuper69

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Jan 2000



    You've misunderstood.

    The FCC is banning exclusivity deals between phone service providers and apartment complexes. The FCC is not banning group packages.

    Reread the article.

  1. marmotton

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2004


    US behind

    Maybe that will give US companies some incentives to catch up with the rest of the industrialized world, where "Basic" is 10 Mpbs and high speed is 28Mbps or more. The US is like a third world country...

    No wonder the dollar keeps sinking and the country is in so much trouble.

  1. michaelper22

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007


    Faster Speeds on the Way?

    Maybe this will give Verizon the kick that they need to get them to realize that they boost the speeads of their services. I'm surfing on a 768 Kbps DSL line, and to my knowledge, this has been our package since 2001. Aren't service levels supposed to reach higher bars over time, without price hikes?

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