Turns out, the FCC defines an entire zip code as served by broadband when one single household receives one single 200-kilobit trickle. The US House of Representatives voted to change that. It seems, in order to see exactly how badly we're doing compared to the other post-industrial nations—do we rank 11th? or 15th? or 24th?—there needs to be a more accurate "broadband census."
According to the act, providers of both cable and DSL will be required to report the exact number of subscribers, the technology used to deliver service and the "advertised" speeds. Here's what Ars says will happen next:
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration will use the data to create broadband deployment maps, which it will make available to the public on the Internet. These maps will show what kind of broadband is available in which areas, and will drill down to the ZIP+4 level.
Hear that, FCC? Zip+4. In your face! Anyway, I'm just glad we'll finally know once and for all how badly Korea is kicking our ass. [Ars Technica]