What is Broadband?

In the 2016 Broadband Progress Report, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently updated the benchmark or definition of broadband as 25 Mbps download / 3 Mbps upload for fixed services.

How fast is a Gigabit internet connection?

Why is Broadband important to your community?

At Solarity, we feel that broadband is so much more than having enough bandwidth to stream Netflix (although that is part of it). Broadband is important because of the opportunities it creates for communities and individuals. 

If communities don’t have access to basic assets, they can’t thrive, and may struggle to survive. Broadband, or high-speed internet, is now just as important as water, gas, electric, and infrastructure such as roads, bridges, sewers, telephone, etc. 

broadband-infrastructureBroadband Importance to Communities

Access to broadband infrastructure has a positive impact across all areas of a community, including:

  • Employment & Economic Development
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Public Safety
  • Government
  • Community (Quality of Life)



Producing Value Through Effective Broadband Governance: This article describes a high-level approach to adapting a governance process to support identified needs and produce effective value. 

Broadband Economic Benefits: Why Invest in Broadband Infrastructure and Adoption?: Robert Gallardo and Mark Rembert explore the long-term economic benefits of providing broadband access to rural communities. 

Choosing the Right Ownership Model: Joel Mulder, for Broadband Communities Magazine, discusses the need for communities should look at all options for improving their broadband access.

Why a Gig?: The Institute for Local Self- Reliance  examines the importance of a gigabit. 

The Economic Development Benefits Of Broadband: Steve Smith, writing for Broadband Communities Magazine, discusses the new opportunities that fast, reliable broadband brings to communities. 

Farmers need tech, too: For farmers with an Internet connection, their use of technology has transformed their operations. These stats provide a glimpse into the use of an Internet connection among agriculture producers in northern Michigan.

Financial Modeling for Big Fiber Builds: BroadBand Communities’ latest modeling tool enables easy calculation of costs and benefits for network builds that use multiple technologies or will be completed in multiple phases.

Coalition for Local Internet Choice (CLIC) website: The Coalition for Local Internet Choice – CLIC – represents a wide range of public and private interests who support the authority of local communities to make the broadband Internet choices that are essential for economic competitiveness, democratic discourse, and quality of life in the 21st century.

ARC Broadband Primer & Toolkit: This primer and toolkit, published by Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), provides information on broadband technology and planning, along with tools and resources to assist with the broadband planning process.

Strategic Networking Group website: Today SNG is now the world leader of broadband econometrics, applying their working knowledge of broadband across the globe to help countries, states, counties, and municipalities maximize the impacts of broadband investments. 

FTTH Primer: Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Primer, made available by the FTTH Council, is helpful for communities to learn about broadband concepts.

BBC FTTH Primer: What Fiber Broadband can do for Your Community (BBC FTTH Primer), made available through Broadband Communities Magazine, is a great tool for community leaders to equip themselves with knowledge about broadband, and the impacts it can make across your community.

Seven Models for Community Broadband: Jeff Honker, writing for Broadband Communities Magazine, outlines seven models that communities can adopt to improve broadband services.

Broadband Types and Speeds: “Understanding Broadband Performance Factors”, provided by CTC Technology & Energy, gives a good understanding of internet speeds available through existing internet technologies.

Key Issues in Public-Private Partnerships: Blair Levin, writing for Broadband Communities Magazine, describes what communities should ask for, and expect to get when negotiating with potential private sector partners.

Competition, Competition, Competition: FCC Chairman Wheeler’s speech to the Broadband Communities Summit 2015.

New Evidence on Muni Broadband: Steve Ross writing for Broadband Communities Magazine, examines population growth throughout the United States, with preliminary findings showing that a lack of broadband causes a lack of jobs.