FCC Broadband Goal Supports UHD

In its 2015 Broadband Progress Report, the Federal Communications Commission has voted to change the definition of broadband from 4 to 25 Mbps for downloads and from 1 to 3 Mbps for uploads.

That got the approval of Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. He said consumers need 15 Mbps for a single Netflix Ultra HD stream, and higher speeds would also foster services such as video-conferencing and home monitoring, so 25 Mbps is “baseline for the next five years.”

FCC chair Tom Wheeler (below, left) didn’t get a unanimous vote, however. Dissenting commissioner Michael O’Rielly (right) derided the new definition, saying UHD is “not expected to be widely adopted for years to come.” Apparently he hasn’t seen sales figures and projections on the fast-growing UHDTV market. But commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel (center) pushed for an even more ambitious goal, a download speed of 100 Mbps: “Anything short of that shortchanges our children, our future, and our new digital economy.”—MF

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Only 3 members, now? I thought there were 5...