Do you have Broadband?

On Thursday January 29, 2015 the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) set new standards for the
classification of “broadband”. To qualify as “broadband” a service
provider must provide download speeds of at least 25 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of at least 3 Mbps. This was done because the FCC felt that the US was not keeping up with available speeds in much of the rest of the world.  By the FCC’s estimates, 17% or 55 million Americans do not have access to the newly defined “broadband” capability. Are you one of the few who has “broadband” per the new standard?

There are many sites that you can use to test your connection. One
of these is http://www.speedtest.net/, this website will test your connection (NOTE: The site does require both Flash and JavaScript). If you have an iOS device, then you can install the FCC Speed Test App from the Apple iTunes store. The App is free and runs on iOS 7.0 or later and is compatible with both the iPhone and iPad.

I used the FCC app on my iPad connected to my home network over Wi-Fi and the results were 7.61Mbps down and 1.44 Mbps up. To verify that the Wi-Fi connection was not limiting my bandwidth, I duplicated the test from my Mac Mini which has a cat 5 hard wired connection to my ATT Uverse router. Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 3.53.37 PMI visited the SpeedTest URL mentioned above in the Google Chrome browser. That test gave nearly the same results: 7.61 Mbps down and 1.43 Mbps up.

Clearly my home internet connection is FAR from the new “broadband” standard. That hardly surprises me when the US shows up ranked number 26 on a list compiled by OOKLA of countries by network speed (the US is rated at 32.65Mbps, we are tied with Bulgaria). The speeds that I measured actually puts me with the same connectivity as Bangladesh, which is ranked number 112 on the list.

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