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1 {broad band} n. high-speed Internet access that is always on and faster than the traditional dial-up access It s for us what railroads, highways and electricity were to past generations. - Julius Genachowski Chairman Federal Communications Commission September 2009 Waited in line for hours at the DMV? Fallen short on time for grocery shopping? Wanted to compare prices and read product reviews? Run out of stamps to pay a utility bill? Wanted an easy way to share pictures with friends and family?

2 If so, you can save time, money and energy by doing these things online - using a high-speed, broadband connection to the Internet. Broadband is... Fast You can perform functions like shopping, finding information, buying tickets almost instantaneously. Convenient You don t need to be mobile. You can shop and get services while recuperating or babysitting, or find hard-to-locate items at outlets on the other side of the country or the world. Safe Personal and sensitive information is usually protected, so it cannot be accessed by others. Easy What you need is often only a few keystrokes or clicks away. Cost Effective The Internet saves you money on gas. You can shop and perform tasks from home. It also allows you to compare prices and purchase items from vendors and retailers who might be thousands of miles away. Often vendors extend discounts for purchasing items online. There are many Internet sites that offer online coupons which help you save even more. Simplified To some, the words broadband and Internet may seem mysterious and maybe even intimidating. But, really, the concept is pretty straightforward - the Internet is a global network that connects you to resources, information, people and products easily and quickly. Broadband is highspeed access that makes these connections much faster.

3 is broadband? Broadband is faster than dial-up service and it doesn t tie up your telephone line like dial-up often does. Broadband connections are normally always on, meaning you do not have to manually connect to your service provider every time you use the Internet. To better understand the differences between dial-up and broadband, it might help to envision the Internet as a pipeline for information. If the pipeline is narrow, less information can fit. Bigger pipes allow for increased and more complex information to flow back and forth bringing content and information to you at faster speeds. Dial-up uses narrow pipes. Broadband uses increasingly fatter pipes that allow much more complex information to flow at faster speeds, including complex graphics and videos. Because it allows more content to be carried through the transmission pipeline, broadband provides access to the highest quality and widest range of Internet services including phone calls over the Internet, movies and television shows. Many of these functions require the transfer of large amounts of data, so they may not be technically feasible with dial-up service. Broadband service is necessary to access the full range of services and opportunities that the Internet has to offer. Increasingly, wireless companies are offering faster Internet service over smartphones and other devices. Did You Know? Airlines and other services often charge less to make reservations via the Internet? Many jobs at larger corporations and most government jobs can now only be applied for online?

4 is it important? Benefits include... Education, Culture & Entertainment You can take an online course, home school a child with online resources, check in on your child s grades and curricula, watch a scholar give a speech at a university thousands of miles away or browse community calendars for local events. Tele-Health and Tele-Medicine Home bound and rural individuals can receive remote consultations, diagnosis, treatment and monitoring from physicians hours away. Economic Development/E-Commerce Broadband can create new jobs, encourage entrepreneurship and attract new industries. E-Government You can easily interact with government agencies, as more and more resources and forms become available online. Public Safety & Homeland Security Broadband can help protect the public by facilitating things like early warning and public alert systems, disaster preparation programs, remote security monitoring and real time background checks. Communications Services You can have the ability to make telephone calls with or without video. Telecommunications Relay Service and Video Relay Service users can communicate more easily with telephone users.

5 You can talk to someone while watching them live over the Internet even internationally? You can turn off the lights at home, turn on the dishwasher and perform other tasks remotely from wherever you are, using the Internet? You can access the Internet from your cell phone? can I get it? There are various ways to connect to the Internet -even some free ones. Connecting to the Internet is simple. All you usually need is a computer and way to connect, typically through a telephone service or cable provider. You can use what s commonly referred to as a dial-up service, which uses your existing phone line to call a service provider and connect your computer to the Internet. Or you can use a high-speed broadband connection, which might use your television cable or your telephone line to connect to the Internet. While many people find that it is convenient to have computers in their own homes, you don t necessarily need your own computer to get connected. Computers with Internet service are available either for free or for a small fee at many libraries, schools and universities, community centers, senior centers and even some retailers. To get broadband at home, you can contact the local telephone company, cable company, satellite company or electric utility. Wireless telephone companies are increasingly offering faster Internet service over smartphones and other devices. Costs and speeds vary, so be sure to find out the cost and speed promised before signing up. Did you know? The number of Americans taking advantage of broadband has soared over the past few years. Home broadband use has risen from 8% in September 2001 to 63% in April In that same time period, the number of rural Americans with broadband at home increased from 3% to 46%.

6 Glossary bandwidth - The capacity of your broadband connection to send and receive the data. The higher the bandwidth, the faster the transmission of data. Bandwidth is measured in bits per second. blog - An online, chronicle journal; short for weblog. download - To transfer a file or files from one computer to another, for example, from a server to your desktop computer. Download is the opposite of upload. - Messages sent via the Internet. can be everything from simple messages or can contain pictures, video - even voice. encrypted - Encrypted data is data that has been converted so it cannot be easily understood by unauthorized people. instant message (IM) - A way of communicating with another Internet user by way of simple text-based chat. IP address - A numeric code number assigned to the computers in a network. A static IP address is permanent. A dynamic address always changes every time you connect to the Internet. Internet Service Provider (ISP) - A company that provides its customers access to the Internet. modem - The device that connects your PC to the Internet. social networking - An online community of people who are socializing with each other via a particular website. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) - A technology that allows you to make and receive calls over the Internet.

7 webcam - A simple video camera that connects to your computer and enables you to send live and recorded video as well as still pictures via the Internet. WiFi - Wireless broadband. Available in many public locations. For more information about broadband, go to or contact the FCC by ing calling CALL-FCC ( ) voice or TELL-FCC ( ) TTY. Source

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