The U.S. has ridiculous standards by which they count a broadband user: It's pretty absurd, but 200 Kbps in a single direction qualifies as a broadband line in our country. Now, that's just how the methodology is defined, and the methodology can be changed. There's now proposed legislation that would require 2 Mbps as the baseline for service to be counted as broadband, and revamp how counting in an area is performed. Right now, a single user in a Zip code tract--a tract that doesn't mesh with the USPS's Zip codes, according to some researchers--with broadband service means the entire Zip code region is counted as broadband-capable. The bill would also require the NTIA, our spectrum agency, to offer the information in searchable form.
The head of the cable industry association said that the industry was addressing concerns over broadband, noting that Comcast recently demonstrated 100 Mbps cable service. That's garbage, of course; the issue is about universal availability of broadband, not the speed in limited areas. By pretending that 200 Kbps is broadband, companies and lobbyists are allowed to talk about broadband generically, when better-than-dial-up is what's in place.