What Broadband Can Do for Families

With faster internet speeds and dependable connections, broadband internet offers families a world of possibilities for both work and play.

If you have several people in your household or use a shared internet connection, you might notice that websites take much longer to load in the evenings, when everyone is trying to get online at once. Devices like computers, smartphones and tablets compete for bandwidth, and when the speed gets divided, you get those frustrating lag times. With high-speed connectivity like broadband, you can power multiple devices, so all of your family members can access the internet at the same time. Your kids can Snapchat, surf the web, and work on homework at the same time.

Some online activities use up more bandwidth than others. Streaming video, especially 4K or HD video, with Hulu, Amazon, or your smart TV requires faster download speeds, which is the time it takes to transmit data from the Internet to your device. Broadbands offer crisper resolution and streaming on multiple devices at once, so you can bring the family together for game night, or everyone can binge their own Netflix shows.

Video games can also eat a lot of bandwidth,  they work best with symmetrical speeds, when your device can upload data to the internet as fast as it can download it. If you’re playing a massive multiplayer online game, or MMO, you need to be able to react fast in order to communicate with your friends and fellow players, and timing is everything.  Broadband can power interactive online gaming on devices like the PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch with quick, responsive connections.

Internet access is playing in an increasingly big role in how we form and maintain social relationships. With broadband, you can video chat with loved ones who live far away on Skype, or stay in touch with Facebook messaging. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP for short) allows you to make phone calls over a broadband connection, because there’s no replacement for hearing someone’s voice. Broadband allows you to quickly share photos and access email at home, giving families new ways to connect.

From Pre-K to college, schools and universities are using the internet to reinvent how they teach students. According to a Stanford study, students with access to the internet at home perform better in school and have fewer behavioral problems.[1] Online learning games allow kids to apply their lessons and have fun at the same time. With broadband, students can work on online quizzes, discussion boards, lesson plans, or other “digital homework” at home, instead of driving into town for a Wi-Fi.

College students can stream lectures and review uploaded PowerPoint slides remotely, giving them more control over their education. Whether students like to blast Top 40 music or country while they study, they can stream Spotify or Pandora and research online at the same time. By replacing spotty internet with a reliable connection, students can make midnight deadlines for big projects and take tests online with confidence. Downloading digital books can also save money on expensive print textbooks that students need to succeed in the classroom.

Increased connectivity empowers adult learners to work toward degree and professional certification programs with the flexible, self-paced learning of online coursework. On the small scale, broadband also gives you the power to stream online video tutorials from YouTube or Lynda.com, and teach yourself everything from how to hang a picture frame on the wall or how to manage a project. And parents can trust broadband connections for essential day-to-day tasks, like paying bills or checking work emails.

No matter how different or how many ways your family needs to use the Internet, broadband can power a new generation of connection and connectivity.


[1] https://edpolicy.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/publications/scope-report-promising-practices-v1.pdf