Polk Broadband Plan - Page 10

Executive Summary EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Vision Statement Broadband Polk’s vision is to facilitate increased opportunity, innovation, and efficiency by ensuring that every individual, corporation, non-profit, visitor, government entity, and community partner in Polk County has access to affordable high-speed internet service. What Is Broadband? Broadband is high-speed internet access that is always on and faster than the traditional dial-up access. Broadband access is provided by a variety of technologies, including: • Optical fiber cables; • Cable access, sharing infrastructure with cable television services; • DSL (digital subscriber lines), sharing infrastructure with land telephone services; • Satellite transmission, used primarily in remote areas; • Mobile broadband networks (for example, 3G and 4G), most commonly accessed by smartphones and tablet computers. Of the above technologies, fiber tends to provide the fastest service and DSL the slowest. Any of the above technologies can be connected to a wireless router, providing wireless internet access (“Wi-Fi”) to devices within range of the router. Broadband is used not only for e-mailing and accessing web pages, but for an enormous variety of applications— from database management to remote medical diagnosis, controlling building access to operating public transit systems, conducting financial transactions to earning degrees via online classes. Why Do We Need It? Throughout history, infrastructure networks have served to connect people, places, ideas and products. The great infrastructures of the 19th century were railroads and canals; the great inf