The FCC is beginning to consider whether to raise the definition of broadband from 4 Mbps to 10 Mbps, or even as high as 25 Mbps, reports the Washington Post.
These days, 4 Mbps may not get you very much, explains The Post. An HD-quality Netflix stream requires at least a 5 Mbps connection. And in today’s typical home, one family member may be streaming a movie while others are making a high-quality Skype call or downloading files from Dropbox, which only adds to the bandwidth requirements.
The notice of inquiry will be circulated internally at the commission Friday, reported the Washington Post, in preparation for a future public release.
In addition, it’ll ask the public whether the FCC should adopt a tiered set of definitions to account for varying speeds in different regions or during different times of day.
Meanwhile, a U.S. lawmaker has introduced legislation that would prohibit the FCC from reclassifying broadband as a common-carrier utility, a move many net neutrality advocates have called for. Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) introduced legislation that would explicitly bar the FCC from reclassifying broadband under Title II of the Communications Act. The cable industry threw its weight behind Latta’s bill, reports The Hill.
The FCC has proposed to restore net neutrality rules and asked for public comment on whether to reclassify broadband instead of taking an approach advocated by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler that would allow broadband providers to engage in commercially reasonable” traffic management“.