What is broadband?

    Broadband is a term used to describe a wide range of different types of Internet services that provide speeds significantly faster than those available through “dial-up” and satellite options. The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) National Broadband Plan now defines broadband service as providing a minimum of 25 megabits download and three megabits upload. 

    What is "Next Generation" broadband?

    “Next Generation” broadband is capable of providing dramatically faster and higher quality Internet service, 10 to 100 times faster than many of the current broadband services today. Most next generation broadband services are offered over fiber infrastructure and offer residential customers Internet speeds of up to one Gigabit per second at prices similar to what consumers pay today. The City of Golden is considering various options of how next generation broadband services could be best deployed across the City to potentially serve all residents and businesses. 

    What is bandwidth?

    Bandwidth is the “speed” of a broadband connection, measured in megabits per second, or “Meg.” A video conference call uses 3-5 Meg, high definition TV services use 5-10 Meg and ultra high definition TV services use 10 – 25 meg. The more applications and more devices connected to a broadband service, the more bandwidth used. 

    What is a gigabit or gig?

    A gigabit is 1000 megabits. Next generation broadband services generally maintain gigabit speeds. Most broadband service is currently offered at 10 or 25 megabits per second (Meg) service so gigabit broadband is much faster, and supports more applications and more devices than traditional broadband. 

    Is next generation broadband available in Golden?

    Next generation residential broadband service delivered over fiber infrastructure is currently not available in Golden. Broadband and Internet options are improving in Golden, but the City is not aware of any current service providers planning to upgrade their networks to make fiber-based, residential next generation broadband services widely available.

    What would next generation broadband services provide in addition to my current Internet services?

    Internet applications are using more and more broadband capacity every day. New high-definition video, high-performance teleconferencing, digital education, electronic healthcare, and home teleworking applications are emerging that use even more capacity, necessitating fiber based, next generation broadband options to support them. 

    How would having next generation broadband impact the community?

    Studies on broadband show an important correlation with local economic vitality by improving the performance and cost effectiveness of business services, providing better support for the emerging “creative class,” supporting school technology programs, allowing those that can work from anywhere more options, and generally enhancing the community as a center of innovation. Access to next generation broadband increases development opportunities, allows greater access to training and job searches and promotes more adoption of Internet services by the community.

    What is fiber and "fiber to the premise"?

    Fiber, or fiber-optic broadband provides Internet connectivity to homes and businesses through very small strands of glass instead of the copper wire or coaxial cable found in traditional broadband services such as DSL or cable services. Next generation broadband uses fiber which has virtually unlimited capacity to connect homes and businesses to the Internet, also known as "fiber to the premise" (FTTP or FTTH). 

    Why is fiber superior to wireless?

    Wireless systems have the ability to provide the guaranteed bandwidth in some instances, and are widely used in areas where fiber-optic is not feasible. However, the capacity of wireless systems is far less than fiber-optic and there are difficulties providing certain applications over wireless systems. Additionally, fiber is often needed to support improved wireless services and forms the high speed “transport” that wireless services require. 

    What other communities have next generation broadband?

    There are a few local examples of successful cases such as the cities of Longmont and Centennial. However, the majority of cities in the U.S. have not been equipped with fiber-based, next generation broadband. In many cases local governments have participated in the deployment of next generation, fiber-based broadband services in their communities. The role of local government in bringing improved broadband services to these communities is varied and Golden is currently considering different approaches that it may adopt. 

    Why is the City looking at broadband?

    The City of Golden, local education institutions, data-oriented businesses, and community leaders recognize the increasing importance of broadband services to the community.  The City, through community outreach and surveys, will attempt to better understand the community’s current and future expectations regarding both residential and business broadband services and then define a strategy for how these and future expectations, including the City’s own broadband needs, can best be met.