NCTA calls 25 Mbps broadband definition excessive in FCC filing

The National Cable Telecommunications Association has written the FCC, calling a proposed redefinition of broadband to 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream excessive.

"Notably, no party provides any justification for adopting an upload speed benchmark of 3 Mbps," NCTA Counsel Matthew Brill wrote. "And the two parties that specifically urge the commission to adopt a download speed benchmark of 25 Mbps--Netflix and Public Knowledge--both offer examples of applications that go well beyond the 'current' and 'regular' uses that ordinarily inform the Commission's inquiry under Section 706" of the Telecommunications Act.

Brill claims that the hypothetical use cases proposed by Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Public Knowledge "dramatically exaggerate" the amount of bandwidth needed by the typical broadband user.

"Netflix, for instance, bases its call for a 25 Mbps download threshold on what it believes consumers need for streaming 4K and ultra-HD video content--despite the fact that only a tiny fraction of consumers use their broadband connections in this manner, and notwithstanding the consensus among others in the industry that 25 Mbps is significantly more bandwidth than is needed for 4K streaming," the NCTA filing reads. "Meanwhile, Public Knowledge asserts in conclusory fashion that an 'average' U.S. household constantly streams at least three high-definition movies simultaneously while also running various 'online backup services and other applications'--without providing any evidence indicating that such usage is at all 'average.'"

For more:
- read this NCTA filing
- read this Ars Technica story
- read this BGR story

Related links:
Netflix's Hastings agrees 25 Mbps should be the broadband definition
FCC's Wheeler says 25/3 Mbps should define broadband
AT&T, Verizon challenge the FCC's proposed 10 Mbps broadband definition
FCC's Wheeler: Competition will drive new broadband speeds, availability
FCC's Wheeler challenges Tennessee's anti-municipal broadband laws
FCC's Wheeler wants to eliminate municipal broadband barriers

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