What Speed Is Considered Broadband?

Yesterday I went to a client’s home to take a look at their DSL connection problem, which they stated seemed very slow to them. They also said they had called the mom and pop ISP and that even after trying some tweaks, were still having trouble. Their main complaint was that they were unable to stream video such as YouTube and so forth. Sure enough, upon my arrival, I noticed that their connection was, in fact, very slow. After running a series of online tests, the download speeds were averaging around 200 to 220 Kbps.

So I gave the mom and pop ISP a call. I learned that the client had chosen the least expensive package which was 256 Kbps. The ISP did have available faster packages of 512 Kbps up to 1.5 Mbps, but at an additional cost naturally. This explained the slowness of the connection, which to me wasn’t much faster than dial up for the most part.

On my way home I was thinking, what speed is considered broadband? I naturally looked at my own experiences having used DSL at 1.5Mbps and now cable at 3.0Mbps, and had always considered these speeds as normal. So in doing some checking on the Internet, I come to find that the FCC considers anything over 200Kbps as broadband. Interesting.

I don’t know about everyone else out there in Internet land, but 200Kbps sounds just a little slow in my estimation. At speeds such as this, video streaming would seem to crawl and downloading large files would be prohibitive. I’m not sure how even a download manager would fair with a 256Kbps connection.

So my question to you is this: Is the FCC being realistic in its interpretation of what broadband is?

Comments welcome.

[tags]boradband, speeds, fcc, dial up, internet[/tags]