WHAT IS BROADBAND AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
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Jojo Myers Campos
100 North Stewart Street, Suite 220
Carson City, Nevada 89701
Telephone: (775) 687-0993
Fax: (775) 687-0990
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In the simplest terms, broadband refers to high-speed Internet access that allows users to access the Internet and Internet-related services at significantly higher speeds than those available through “dial up” services. Broadband speeds vary significantly depending on the technology and level of service ordered. Broadband services for residential consumers typically provide faster downstream speeds (from the Internet to the user) than upstream speeds (from the user’s computer to the Internet). At this time, one of the fastest ways to deliver broadband services is through a fiber cable and fiber connections.
Access to broadband can have a significant impact on the delivery of education. Through increased access to computers and other internet connected devices in schools, and expanded access to distance education delivered via high-speed internet, both K-12 and postsecondary students in rural Nevada can have access to the same teachers and the same education as students in urban Las Vegas.
Broadband also offers the possibility of improving access to healthcare. Broadband has enabled doctors to reach patients through the use of “telemedicine” by enabling them to provide medical care to patient who either lack access to transportation, or who live in rural areas, or lack access to specialized care. Through broadband, doctors can now work with specialist located in more urban areas, share diagnostic data and test results through high-speed Internet services, thereby reducing the need of their patients to travel long distances or even leave their homes.
Since broadband allows for the nearly instantaneous communication of information and transmission of data, it has become an important component for economic growth and the delivery of critical services throughout the state, particularly in rural areas. The number of public and private users continues to increase and most businesses simply cannot operate or expand unless they have access to high-speed broadband and internet services. As the benefits of broadband services continue to expand and become increasingly essential to how we do business, its availability now determines where many businesses and institutions decide where to locate, and where individuals decide to live and play.