Broadband at 256kbps?

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has mandated that mobile broadband services in the country should have a speed of at least 256 kilobits per second (kbps).

That’s sufficient for browsing Facebook, checking your email or reading blogs. However, watching a high definition YouTube video may be near impossible.

NTC 256kbps

Remember that browsers and download managers display the internet connection speed in kilobytes per second (kBps). The said 256kbps is equivalent to 32kBps or 0.32MBps. A 10MB high quality mp3 audio file can be downloaded in a little more than 5 minutes with this speed.

The NTC has previously set the same minimum speed for fixed broadband services. This time, the commission is focusing on mobile devices.

This includes pocket wi-fi’s, USB dongles, smartphones, tablets and any portable device that can access the internet wirelessly.

It’s also worth noting that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the United States defined broadband as having a speed of 25 Megabits per second in 2015. That’s almost one hundred times the NTC’s chosen lowest limit.

The commission will begin testing the speed of different mobile broadband providers before the May 2016 elections. They are even encouraging mobile broadband users to test their ISP themselves. We’ll post the official results here once it becomes available.