A list of frequently asked questions has been provided to provide general knowledge and facts about broadband and its benefits. Please contact us if you have other questions. Boulder County Broadband Program.
Q: What is Broadband?
A: Broadband or HSI (high speed internet) as it’s more commonly referred to in telecommunications, is a large amount of bandwidth that can carry different types of signals (voice, data, etc.) at the same time across a network.
Q: Is there a difference between broadband and high speed internet?
A: No. Broadband and HSI are the same thing.
Q: Do I need fiber-optic cable to get broadband service?
A: No, broadband or high speed internet can be provisioned using several different technologies. Example: fiber, DSL, cable, wireless, microwave, or satellite. (Some technologies such as DSL, may not be able to achieve speeds of 25/3 due to distance and physical limitations of copper/twisted pair).
Q: What does the term 25/3 mean?
A: 25/3 is a term used to describe the download/upload speed of an internet connection in megabits per second (Mbps). The FCC defines 25/3 as high-speed internet. Applications and other programs like distance learning, telemedicine and video calls consume a large amount of bandwidth.
Q: How do I check the speed of my broadband connection?
A: Ookla provides a free service to check your connection speeds (download/upload).
Q: Is Broadband a utility?
A: Some people now consider broadband the “fourth utility”. Based on the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal government has determined that broadband is essential for all residents to provide digital equity and inclusion.
Q: What is digital equity.
A: Digital equity is the goal ensuring that everyone in our society has equal access to technology tools, computers and the Internet.
Q: What is the difference between an “unserved” and “underserved” area?
A: Unserved areas currently do not have any availability to access broadband services through a local provider. Underserved areas have at least one service provider, although the speed may not be 25/3, it may be 10/1, etc. These areas do not necessarily have to be rural; they can also be urban areas in some cases.
Q: What companies provide broadband in my area?
A: To find out who the local providers in your area are, visit Find my local ISP
Q: Is Boulder County going to provide broadband/internet services in my community?
A: No, Boulder County is not an internet service provider. The county is working with local providers and vendors to identify shovel-ready projects and develop partnerships with providers to prioritize areas in the community that need access to services.
Q: How can the community assist in closing the digital divide in Boulder County?
A: The Broadband Program is interested in your feedback on how we can support the community at large. Please send us an email.