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Blog // Connect Ohio

Back to the broadband basics!

By Brad Ingles

Before working at Connect Ohio, if someone were to ask me what type of Internet I had I would have simply said the provider, not understanding the different types of broadband connections. For this week’s blog, I thought I would go back to the basics of broadband as a refresher for some of our readers, and overview for others. So, in the words of Julie Andrews, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.”

High-speed Internet access is called broadband, and it allows users to access the Internet and other related services at considerably higher speeds than those accessible through dial-up services. Broadband speeds vary depending on the level of service ordered and the technology available. For a residential consumer, broadband service will typically have faster downstream speeds (from the Internet to the computer) than upstream speeds (from the computer to the Internet).

 Broadband is available in several forms, defined below from the Federal Communications Commission website.

  • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) is a wireline transmission technology that transmits data over traditional copper telephone lines already installed to homes and businesses.
  • Cable service provides broadband using the same cables that deliver pictures and sound to your TV set, though you can still watch cable TV while using a cable modem service.
  • Fiber optic technology converts to light electrical signals carrying data and sends the light through transparent glass fibers about the diameter of a human hair.
  • Wireless fidelity (WiFi) connects end-user devices to a local Internet service via short-range wireless technology.
  • Fixed wireless technologies using longer range directional equipment can provide broadband service in remote or sparsely populated areas where other types of broadband would be too costly to provide.
  • Mobile wireless broadband services provide wireless from mobile devices and are also widely available from mobile broadband service providers.
  • Satellite broadband is another form of wireless broadband that is useful for serving remote or sparsely populated areas.

Connect Ohio is working hard to bring universal broadband to Ohio. With tools like My ConnectViewTM, detailed in an earlier blog by our Senior Manager for Technical Assistance, Bart Winegar, Connect Ohio is making it easier to learn about the broadband service options in your area, and find out how to get and stay connected!



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