What Is Broadband? How Does Broadband Work?

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1 What Is Broadband? High-speed Internet access or broadband allows users to access the Internet and Internet-related services at significantly higher speeds than those available through dialup Internet access services. How Does Broadband Work? Broadband allows users to access information via the Internet using one of several highspeed transmission technologies. Transmission is digital, meaning that text, images, and sound are all transmitted as bits of data. The transmission technologies that make broadband access possible move these bits much more quickly than traditional telephone or wireless connections, including traditional dial-up Internet access. Once broadband is connected to a home or business, devices such as computers can be attached to this broadband connection by existing electrical or telephone wiring, coaxial cable, or wirelessly. What Are The Advantages of Broadband? Broadband allows a user to take advantage of new services not available with a dial-up Internet connection. Broadband also permits new developments in telemedicine, where patients in rural areas can confer online with medical specialists in more urban areas. Broadband helps efficiently access and use many reference and cultural resources, such as library and museum data bases and collections. Broadband provides the opportunity to take advantage of many distance learning opportunities, like online college or university courses, and continuing or senior education programs. Broadband is an important tool for expanding educational and economic opportunities for consumers in remote locations. In addition to these new services, broadband allows existing services such as online shopping and web surfing more quickly and efficiently. Downloading and viewing videos and photos on your computer are much faster and easier. Broadband allows access to the Internet through the computer and telephone line. What Types of Broadband Are Available? Broadband includes several high-speed transmission technologies such as: Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Cable Modem Fiber (FiOS) Wireless Satellite Broadband over Powerline (BPL)

2 The broadband technology chosen will depend on a number of factors. These include whether you are located in an urban or rural area, how broadband Internet access is packaged with other services (like voice telephone and home entertainment) and, of course, price and availability. Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) DSL is a wire line transmission technology that transmits data faster over traditional copper telephone lines already installed to homes and businesses. DSL-based broadband provides transmission speeds ranging from several hundred Kbps to millions of bits per second (Mbps). The availability and speed of your DSL service may depend on the distance from your home or business to the closest telephone company facility. Cable Modem Cable modem service enables cable operators to provide broadband using the same coaxial cables that deliver pictures and sound to TV sets. Most cable modems are external devices that have two connections, one to the cable wall outlet and the other to a computer. They provide transmission speeds of 1.5 Mbps or more. Subscribers can access their cable modem service simply by turning on their computers without dialing-up an ISP. You can still watch cable TV while using it. Transmission speeds vary depending on the type of cable modem, cable network, and traffic load. Speeds are comparable to DSL. ** Suddenlink in Arkadelphia serves Arkadelphia, Caddo Valley, and Gurdon. We are currently building Gum Springs Proper and the Smithton Rd and Lockie Rd Community and should be completed by end of Feb. At this time, no other extensions are budgeted. Cable, Digital, HD, high speed internet, and phone are the services provided through Suddenlink. Fiber Optics (FiOS) Fiber optic technology converts electrical signals carrying data to light and sends the light through transparent glass fibers about the diameter of a human hair. Fiber transmits data at speeds far exceeding current DSL or cable modem speeds, typically by tens or even hundreds of Mbps. However, the actual speed experienced will vary depending upon a variety of factors, such as how close a computer terminal and the service provider brings the fiber, and how the service provider configures the service, including the amount of bandwidth used. The same fiber providing broadband can also simultaneously deliver voice (VoIP) and video services, including video-on-demand. Telecommunications providers (mostly telephone companies) are offering fiber broadband in limited areas and have announced plans to expand their fiber networks and offer bundled voice, Internet access, and video services.

3 **AT&T reports that Fiber Optic technology is not used for residential but is designed for light to large industry. A redundant line and another independent line that is accessed by OBU, HSU and Arkadelphia High School are available. Tapping into these lines are available through AT&T Arkansas and new line to be ran up to 3 miles from current cable will be at no cost. Wireless Wireless broadband connects a home or business to the Internet using a radio link between the customer s location and the service provider s facility. Wireless broadband can be mobile or fixed. Wireless technologies using longer range directional equipment provide broadband service in remote or sparsely populated areas where DSL or cable modem service would be costly to provide. Speeds are generally comparable to DSL and cable modem. Fixed wireless broadband service is becoming more and more widely available at airports, city parks, bookstores, and other public locations. Wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) technology is also often used in conjunction with DSL or cable modem service to connect devices within a home or business to the Internet via a broadband connection. **Wireless service is available wherever EZClick, IOCC, Alltel and ATT are clearly assessable Satellite Just as satellites orbiting the earth provide necessary links for telephone and television service, they can also provide links for broadband. Satellite broadband is another form of wireless broadband, also useful for serving remote or sparsely populated areas. Speeds for satellite broadband depend on several factors, including the consumer s line of sight to the orbiting satellite, and the weather. Typically a consumer can expect to receive a speed slower than DSL and cable modem, but download speed is about 10 times faster than download speed with dial-up Internet access. Service can be disrupted in extreme weather conditions. Obtaining satellite broadband can be more costly and involved than obtaining DSL or cable modem. A user must have: a two or three foot dish or base station the most costly item; a satellite Internet modem; and a clear line of sight to the provider s satellite. **Wild Blue has a satellite service that is an internet provider. A limited availability in Clark County currently exists to add new customers. This service is sold through Dimensional Sound and Vision in Arkadelphia.

4 Internet Service Expansion **AT&T confirmed that DSL access is being increased throughout the state but no specific geographic areas were given. Connect Arkansas is planning to hire someone to map where broadband is not available for the state of Arkansas. CCSP could wait for these findings due to there being no cost involved. A federal grant program for DSLAM (Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer-a device for DSL) will be available again in This program has $3 million dollars total to be granted for hot spots in rural towns. Hot Spots could be schools, public libraries, coffee shops that have high traffic. There can be up to a 3 mile radius of coverage area surrounding these hot spots. E-Rate Program through the Universal Service Administrative Company provides affordable access to telecommunications services for all eligible schools and libraries in the U.S. All K-12 schools qualify for the program and receive discounts according to their level of economic disadvantage (based on the percentage of students eligible for the national school lunch program) and their location--rural or urban. The Fund was created to make telecommunications services affordable for every school and library. A school or library will receive discounts of 20% to 90% on telecommunications services, internal connections, and Internet access. Discounts are applied to the full price, and the school or library will pay for the portion of the price after the discounts are applied. Getting Broadband Broadband is offered through a local internet or telephone company or other provider for DSL and fiber, a cable company for cable modem, and a wireless or satellite company for wireless broadband. There are differences among broadband services, and the equipment of one provider may not work in another area or with another provider. Information obtained through: ( telephone CALL-FCC ( ) Federal Communications Commission Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Consumer Inquiries and Complaint Division th Street, S.W. Washington, DC

5 INTERNET AND PHONE SERVICES UTILIZED BY COUNTY/CITY MUNICIPALITIES Amity Internet: Windstream (formerly Alltel) Phone: Windstream (formerly Alltel) Arkadelphia Internet: IOCC Caddo Valley Internet: Suddenlink Phone: ATT Clark County Offices Internet: IOCC Gurdon Internet: Suddenlink Companies offering various internet services in Clark County are as follows: EZClick, Dimensional Sound and Vision, IOCC, LocalNet Corp, Suddenlink, Comcast, CNet and AT&T, Alltel and Earthlink

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