vendredi 29 novembre 2019

What is broadband internet access and the digital divide federal assistance programs

what is broadband internet the purpose of this topic is to teach you about the nationwide Public Safety broadband network or the npsbn and firstnet the United States first responder Network Authority however before we can educate you about any of these things about the npsbn about firstnet or about our program we need to make sure that you have a basic understanding of the term broadband.


broadband internet



What is broadband internet ?


probably have an idea of what the term is you probably use it everyday but what is it are you able to define the term broadband don't feel badly if you can't even though it's a common term that everybody uses many people even information technology experts all have a hard time agreeing on what exactly it means that said you probably have seen or heard the term broadband or its equivalents in many contexts for example your local internet service providers are probably advertising broadband or high-speed Internet access today other
companies are advertising speed such as 4G LTE cellular carriers there are even
many government organizations dedicated to promoting unlimited broadband including the United States Federal Communications Commission through the National Broadband Plan and connect Ohio a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving broadband internet access tocommunities all across the state clearly companies are selling it the governmentis spending money to make it better you are probably a customer 


but what isn home broadband put simply broadband means fast as in fast internet access and italso means faster than what I had yesterday there's no Universal definition that everybody agrees on including engineers and government regulators but generally everybody agrees that broadband means fast fast enough for example to stream music to stream video and to download large files quickly but let's look at some of the formal definitions of broadbandincluding the technology behind it the federal government has a number to define broadband that number is 25 megabits per second on the downlink there's another number associated with that that number is 6 megabits per second on the uplink do those numbersmean anything to you unless you're a technical person and even then they probably don't but these are the speeds the government says qualifies something as home broadband but your broadband internet provider at home and your broadband cellular carrier probably don't provide those speeds today but we'll have more on that later



so what is wireless broadband after all that it sounds just about as clear as mud to me and it probably sounds about the same to you so let's compare a few different home broadband technologies what they are and how they compare to help us figure it all out to compare different technologies you need to understand how we measure speed for that we use the term throughput you probably use the term bandwidth bandwidth and throughput
mean pretty much the same thing for most purposes so whenever you think about
bandwidth just think about the word throughput to measure throughput we use a value called bits per second or bps measuring bits per second is kind of like measuring the amount of water flowing through a river just like a large river flowing very fast means you
have a lot of water having a large broadband pipe with lots of bits flowing at the speed of light means you have a lot of data but now you're probably wondering.

what is a bit well you probably know that all digital information is a sequence of ones and
zeros everything the TV shows and movies you stream the music saved on your phone
every website you open in a browser all data is stored as a sequence of ones and zeroes these ones and zeroes are called bits for example 10 ones and zeroes is called 10 bits so what if I said you could send 10 of those bits in one second how would you describe that
that's right you would say that is 10 bits per second but you just described right now that's throughput throughput is literally how many ones and zeros or bits someone can send in one second so 10 bits per second means we can send 10 ones or zeroes per second 1000 bits per second means we can send 1,000 ones or zeros or 1000 bits per second let's review a few different access technologies to help us figure out the term broadband dial-up.


internet is definitely not broadband by today's standards but it's good to use as a
baseline that you are probably familiar with dial-up internet from the mid to late 1990s had a speed of about 56,000 bits per second or 56 kilobits you might remember the term 56k modem this is where that term comes from that means a maximum of 56,000 ones Xero's are transmitted every second that isn't very fast by today's standards but at one point it was pretty cutting-edge you wouldn't be able to stream movies over a 56k connection though now let's look at a couple of technologies that would actually count as broadband DSL
broadband internet provided by your telephone company provides up to about seven million bits per second or seven megabits that means seven million ones or zeros are transmitted every second Cable Internet is about the same speed as DSL at least these days where DSL is a lot faster than it used to be neither cable internet nor dsl or new technologies both have been around since the 1990s.



however both technologies are always improving and they are both definitely much faster than they used to be most people would call both technologies broadband by today's standards because they are fast enough to download large files and stream multimedia such as TV shows or live video fiber internet which has just
recently been introduced to some markets in the United States in about the last
five years is very fast one billion bits per second or one gigabit that is 1 billion ones or zeros transmitted every single second or over 100 times as fast as your DSL or cable.

now I don't know what you think is home broadband but I'd saythat is definitely broadband how do cellular network stand-up 3G or third-generation cellular networks were first built in the United States around 2003 and they still operate today whiledifferent cellular carriers all used different technologies for data in 3G they all provided about the same average throughput speed of about 1 million bits per second that's 1 megabit by today's standards that's not broadband because you'd have a hard time
streaming video or much multimedia at all 4G or fourth generation cellular networks were built in the United States around 2010 and they continue to be built out today all major cellular carriers in the United States today use a technology called LTE which stands for
long term evolution LTE is an open global standard for cellular voice and data networks LTE provides average throughput speeds of about 5 million bits per second that's 5 megabits that doesn't sound very fast compared to your home Internet service and especially not very fast at all compared to fiber.



home broadband




but remember cellular networks communicate all of that information without wires
everywhere you go and it's still pretty fast suitable for streaming video carrying voice over LTE telephone calls and carrying billions of social-media transactions every single day. 

remember when I said that the federal government has a number to define broadband
remember that as of January 2015 that number is 25 megabits per second according to the federal government broadband technologies have to let you download 25 megabits per second and to upload that means send out to the Internet 6 megabits per second but most
broadband providers today don't offer those speeds or at least most of their customers don't have access to that level of service this includes the latest 4G cellular networks the only technology that always meets this definition today is fiber internet which most people don't even have access to where they live does that mean that your home internet service is not broadband that is hard to say it probably doesn't meet the FCC's standard for broadband however the FCC's benchmark for 25 megabits per second that's new as of 2015 as technology and networks continue to improve they will probably catch up with
the FCC's definition so what about today's newest state of the art blazing-fast 4G LTE networks well they provide typical speeds from  between 1/4 to 1/2 of the FCC's


definition for broadband in most cases anyway does that mean that 4G is not broadband well cellular networks are constantly being improved to so their speeds will only get better with time as well but after looking at all of these numbers I think it's easier to say what we said in the beginning that broadband means fast and that means faster than what I had yesterday that means that the benchmark is always going to move you will always demand something better because you will always demand something faster than what you had yesterday but hopefully you now have a better understanding of what the term broadband means the technologies behind it and how those different technologies compare in particular how they compare to each other and how they compare to the federal government's definition and remember what you think is broadband today is probably not going to be broadband tomorrow because tomorrow you will still define broadband as faster than what I had yesterday.

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