The Federal Communications Commission this week issued a notice of inquiry seeking public comment on a proposed change to how it measures high-speed Internet and to ask if the agency should change the low end threshold. Currently the FCC defines broadband as 4 Mbps download speed and 1 Mbps upload speed. Under the new proposal it wants to up that number to 10 Mbps or higher for a service to qualify as broadband.
"As more people adopt faster broadband speeds, we are asking if all consumers, even in the most rural regions, should have greater access to better broadband," FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement.
In the notice, the FCC also said that it is seeking input on other broadband related issues such as when it can consider mobile services as a "functional equivalent" for fixed broadband and how it should address broadband availability in areas where multiple ISPs operate but no service meets the broadband benchmark on its own.
The FCC also wants feedback on when it should measure speeds – during hours of regular use or peak usage, and if it should look at the impact of data caps.
The FCC will collect comments on the topic for 45 days as it prepares a new Broadband Progress Report.