The FCC voted 3-2 yesterday
to raise the definition of broadband to 25 mbps down/4 mbps up. Curiously, the agency voted just a month ago
to increase the threshold in rural areas to 10 mbps down/1 mbps up. While the rushed process is suspect
, the bigger issue is that the FCC missed an opportunity to reach its stated goal of ensuring “advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion
” in a faster, smarter, and cheaper way.
Rather than drafting a new regulatory requirement, the FCC could encourage that the services people consume (particularly video, which takes up two-thirds of America’s network capacity) make more efficient use of bandwidth. Improved content encoding and video compression can save 30-50% of bandwidth, not to mention drive cost reductions for content and video providers. An independent ZetaCast report
states the bit rate required to achieve the same audio and video quality is halved every five years – a Moore’s Law for bandwidth efficiency.