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What is Real Broadband?

July 6, 2007 - 0 Comments

I’ve asked this question before, (and, more than once) but what made me think of it again was Pew’s report on Broadband Usage in the U.S. that was released today. (Adobe document). Pew is a great organization and there are some compelling data and charts in the report – you should really check it out. What I couldn’t find — and, I’ll be honest, I didn’t read the 14 page report word for word, but I did search for “Mbps” and “broadband definition” — was how they defined broadband. My best guess is anybody with always-on, high-speed internet connectivity. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a great start. But, what is “high-speed”? As I’ve said before, the FCC defines high-speed as 200Kpbs. So, I can only assume that Pew is measuring this as high-speed. On this measurement, the U.S. is doing just fine, thank you. On a REAL broadband measurement, when we’re dealing in Mbps, not Kpbs, the picture isn’t so rosy, as my colleague Jeff Campbell says here, “Japan at 61 Mbps, France at 17 Mbps and Canada at 7 Mbps.”And as our CEO John Chambers said recently at “D: All Things Digital”, we really should be talking in terms of 100Mbps to every home.So, congrats to all of us who have broadband at home or at work, but let’s hope that we have a report soon that measures broadband in Mbps, not Kbps.

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