The Federal Communications Commission defines "broadband Internet" as service that delivers data at speeds of at least four megabits per second. However, according to a recent FCC report, 60% of the 94% of U.S. households that subscribe to broadband Internet only sees speeds of 768 kilobits per second. That's plenty fast when all you're doing is browsing blogs, checking Twitter, and updating Facebook, but it becomes pretty problematic when you try to stream high quality video from services like Netflix.
Netflix recommends its users have an Internet connection faster than 500 kilobits per second. So, even with 768 kbps, users will be able to stream movies and TV shows, albeit slowly. For HD and DVD quality, users are recommended to have between three and five Mbps. The only problem? Only 38% and 26% of households that subscribe to Netflix can reach those speeds, respectively.
Interestingly enough, according to the FCC, some communities with wireless broadband connections see speeds that far exceeds those with wired connections.