US Telcos call for lower broadband speeds

US telcos have hit on a clever idea to provide universal broadband to every US citizen – they’re calling on the government to define broadband as anything over 768 Kbps downstream and 200 Kbps upstream.

That way, they argue, they can provide it to everyone and the US government say that everyone in the country has broadband access.  

The submissions, from AT&T, Comcast, Verizon Communications and Verizon Wireless were filed with the Federal Communications Commission following a request for information.

The FCC is under pressure from the Obama administration is seeking ways to extend broadband services to both unserved Americans living in rural areas and to make broadband affordable for those living in urban areas.

Obviously, the telcos are not too keen on having to bring expensive thick pipes to rural areas and want the government to curb its noble ambitions a bit.

In comparison to what the US telcos want to provide, the top three countries are Japan with 92.8 Mbps, Korea with 80.8 Mbps and France with 51 Mbps.

AT&T insisted that the broadband definition must include ‘those services that Americans actually need, want and can afford’.

It claimed that most Americans did not want voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or streaming video, that require faster speeds. 

We guess AT&T was actually saying that people in rural areas apparently would not know what to do with streaming video if it bit them and that there was no real need for a telco to provide a pipe to a banjo picking part of the back woods.  

According to Reuters, Comcast said that “simpler is better” and that the nation’s rednecks would be best served if the government defined “basic” broadband as having a downstream and upstream speed of 256 Kbps.