Skip to main content

Broadband internet just got redefined — again

The word “broadband” is often used in marketing materials, but its actual definition has been malleable over the years. Now, though, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a new report to indicate what should be considered “broadband.”

The new standard designates 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload speeds, up from the last time they were defined in 2015. At that point, the FTC decreed 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speeds. That’s how far we’ve come.

You might be wondering where these numbers came from, and according to the FTC, they are “based on the standard now used in multiple federal and state programs,” as well as “consumer usage patterns” and “what is actually available.”

According to, the average download speed in the U.S. is 256 Mbps, which is eight times faster than it was a decade earlier. In case you’re wondering, that puts the country at 12th in the world for internet speed. As Toms Hardware points out, streaming movies on Netflix requires 15 Mbps or higher for 4K content, while Nvidia GeForce Now needs 35 Mbps for 1080p game streaming.

Yet, the FTC’s report concluded that a survey taken in December 2022 found some deficiencies in how the country is currently doing with fast internet accessibility.

“The report concludes that advanced telecommunications capability is not being deployed in a reasonable and timely fashion based on the total number of Americans, Americans in rural areas, and people living on Tribal lands who lack access to such capability, and the fact that these gaps in deployment are not closing rapidly enough.”

More than that, the report indicates that it has a long-term goal for “broadband,” eventually arriving at 1 Gbps download and 500 Mbps upload speeds. It didn’t provide a timeline for this goal, but based on the last time a report on broadband was given, it may be many years before another update is provided.

Editors' Recommendations

Luke Larsen
Senior Editor, Computing
Luke Larsen is the Senior editor of computing, managing all content covering laptops, monitors, PC hardware, Macs, and more.
Microsoft just made Paint useful again
A screenshot of Paint Co-creator.

Microsoft Paint is taking a step into the future with the integration of DALL-E 3, better known as Cocreator. The AI-powered feature, previously featured in Bing AI, enables users to generate images based on textual descriptions and preferred art styles.

Microsoft originally announced its intentions to integrate Bing’s AI-based image-generating features with Paint during its September 26 event. According to a report by Windows Latest, Cocreator for Paint has now transitioned from the testing phase and is ready for a broader release for all Windows 11 users. While not every user may immediately experience the feature due to the gradual rollout, those eager to explore Cocreator should ensure they are running the latest version of Paint. Additionally, users may be prompted to join a waiting list within the app.

Read more
The situation with melting RTX 4090 connectors just got more complicated
MSI RTX 4090 Suprim X on a pink background.

Nvidia's best GPU continues to melt, and even third-party adapters can't seem to prevent it from happening.  CableMod's adapter, which many had hoped would fix all problems, is now pinned as the cause of some of the instances of melting connectors. Unfortunately, using it voids the warranty on the GPU, as one unlucky user found out from MSI.

Reddit user Agentcamels reported on the MSI subreddit (via Tom's Hardware) that their RTX 4090 went up in smoke. We've heard of this before -- it's a seemingly never-ending saga of melting RTX 4090 connectors. It seems that they were playing Cyberpunk 2077 when they saw smoke. CableMod's 12VHPWR adapter was in use here, and that may have caused the meltdown; in any case, it appears that the adapter is now stuck to the GPU.

Read more
What is Li-Fi? A faster, more secure wireless internet is just around the corner
Li-Fi transmitters pictured.

Li-Fi technology has the potential to give us faster, more secure wireless internet access, even in busy environments where there is already heavy Wi-Fi coverage. It's not a replacement for Wi-Fi, but an augmenting technology that could work alongside it to offer an additional spectrum for devices to utilize, as well as a way to limit access to the network utilizing the very nature of this light-based technology.

Li-Fi has the potential to revolutionize not only the way we all get online, but it could even replace some of the mountains of cables that make up the backbone of the modern internet.
What is Li-Fi?
Li-Fi is short for Light Fidelity and is a communication system that utilizes light, rather than radio waves to transmit the data. A Li-Fi network uses infrared LED lamps to transmit and receive data, using modulations in the light intensity to create the digital signal which carries the information to and from various networked devices.

Read more