Broadband Commission declines to define broadband

Posted on July 21, 2011  /  0 Comments

I know this is late, but it is still relevant.

The somewhat ironic* Broadband Commission has done something good. It has declined to define broadband either in terms of advertised (though rarely delivered) download speeds or in terms of specific technologies.

The Commission did not explicitly define the term “broadband” in terms of specific minimum transmission speeds because countries differ in their definitions. Recognizing that broadband is sometimes also defined in terms of a specific set of technologies, many members of the Commission found it appropriate to refer to broadband “as a network infrastructure capable of reliably delivering diverse convergent services through high-capacity access over a mix of technologies”. The Commission’s report therefore focuses on broadband as a cluster of concepts, such as an always-on service (not needing the user to make a new connection to a server each time), and high-capacity: able to carry lots of data per second, rather than at a particular speed.

* why ironic? If appointing as the co-chair of the Broadband Commission the world’s richest man who has, in collusion with the region’s governments, kept Latin America’s telecom prices way above developing-country averages and thus is responsible at least partly for preventing the citizens of Latin American countries from using broadband, is not ironic, what is?

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