FCC updates broadband definitions

390895 02: Insulated fiber-optic cable from the Fiberoptic Supply Company is on display June 20, 2001 in Denver, CO. (Photo by Michael Smith/Getty Images)

The term “broadband” doesn’t seem like it needs too much definition – anything over dial-up, right? Not exactly. The FCC’s definition of broadband is a shifting target, mostly because what was once enough to handle all of an average user’s needs can no longer keep up.

All of this is to say that the FCC has updated its definition of “broadband” to mean 4 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up. Know what it used to be? Try 200 Kbps down. Old numbers show that nearly ten percent of the population does not have access to broadband. I would not be surprised to see those numbers skyrocket with the new definitions.

In fact, I’d guess a lot of consumers don’t meet both requirements. I’m fairly certain most Time Warner Cable packages stay in the Kbps range with regard to upload speeds, even at the premium levels. I would love to see that change.


Hulu Has More Viewers Than Time Warner Cable

Silicon Alley Insider Hulu vs. Time Warner chart.According to Silicon Alley Insider, Hulu has passed the nation’s second largest cable provider, Time Warner Cable, in monthly viewership. The comScore report for July puts Hulu at 38 million viewers, while Time Warner was estimated to be closer to 34 million.

As the SAI article points out, there’s not a whole lot to draw from this news. Cable is still drawing far greater revenues than Hulu, so it’s hard to say how the two will compare into the future. There’s also the matter of the content actually being watched. While it’s probably rare that someone would fire up the DVR just to watch a clip of the Colbert Report, those clips are probably a large part of the viewer count for Hulu. Then again, those Hulu viewers may end up logging more video time because accessing content is a little more active than flipping on the TV. In any case, the comparison isn’t quite one to one.