The biggest U.S. internet service providers have urged federal regulators to adopt a conservative definition of "broadband," arguing for minimum speeds that are substantially below that of many other nations, Reuters reports. The submissions were filed with the Federal Communications Commission, which had sought comments by Aug. 31 on how the agency should define broadband for a report to be submitted to Congress early next year. The Obama administration is seeking ways to extend broadband services to unserved Americans living in rural areas and to make broadband affordable for those living in urban areas. Some of the submissions from service providers argued for a definition that even undercut an international ranking of U.S. internet speed. A 2008 study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development showed that the United States ranked 19th among industrialized nations, with an advertised rate of 9.6 megabytes per second (mbps). The top three countries were Japan with 92.8 mbps, Korea with 80.8 mbps, and France with 51 mbps. "The definition must include those services that Americans actually need and want–and can afford–to participate in the internet-driven economy," AT&T said in its letter to the FCC, while Comcast Corp., the biggest cable provider, said that "simpler is better" and argued for defining "basic" broadband as having a downstream and upstream speed of 0.256 mbps. However, Free Press, a public interest group, urged Congress and the FCC to set the bar high and to consider broadband as a critical infrastructure…

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