What is Broadband?

Similar to roads and highways, the internet connects homes, businesses and government offices to each other and around the world. High-speed internet is critical to the flow of commerce, communications, government services, and information of all kinds. As a result, broadband is quickly becoming essential to participation in public life.

Broadband is: 

  • always on, high-speed internet access, 

  • capable of at least 25 Mbps downstream & 3 Mbps upstream data transmission, and 

  • independent of network hardware and technologies used.

Access to affordable broadband service is no longer considered a luxury, but an essential utility. The need for broadband in the 21st century is often compared to the need for electricity or phone service in previous centuries.

Broadband infrastructure includes:

  • wireline technologies, such as coaxial and fiber-optic cable; and

  • wireless technologies, such as fixed and 4G mobile wireless.

Although many people today have broadband service available at their homes and businesses, there are still Massachusetts residents and businesses that do not have access to broadband and there are many more that choose not to use the technology. The MBI seeks to increase both the availability and the adoption of broadband across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Understanding Broadband

Since broadband is always on, there’s no need to reconnect or log in each time you use it. Content can be transmitted to your computer, phone, video game console, or TV. It refers to a variety of different kinds of high-speed internet technologies and includes any kind of service that carries multiple voice, video, and data channels simultaneously, whether done over wires or wirelessly.

Broadband offers fast download and upload speeds when browsing websites, transferring files, streaming audio and video, and using Voice over IP (VoIP) Internet phone services. If you want to be able to use the latest technologies and services that are available online and from entertainment companies, then you need broadband.

Broadband services vary in price dependent upon technology, speed, market competition, and mobility. Your needs, budget, and the availability of broadband in your area will determine the type of service that is right for you.

Learn more about broadband transmission technologies