As part of its 2015 Broadband Progress Report, the Federal Communications Commission has voted to change the definition of broadband by raising the minimum download speeds needed from 4Mbps to 25Mbps, and the minimum upload speed from 1Mbps to 3Mbps, which effectively triples the number of US households without broadband access. Currently, 6.3 percent of US households don’t have access to broadband under the previous 4Mpbs/1Mbps threshold, while another 13.1 percent don’t have access to broadband under the new 25Mbps downstream threshold.
FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler was vehement in his support for the new broadband standard. “When 80 percent of Americans can access 25-3, that’s a standard. We have a problem that 20 percent can’t. We have a responsibility to that 20 percent,” Commissioner Wheeler said.