How superfast fibre broadband is transforming our lives
Thursday 28th September, 2017
Superfast fibre optic broadband offers speeds up to five times faster than the average speed of standard UK broadband, and is available in more and more places. But what’s been the impact of superfast broadband – and what will it allow us to do in the future?
Opportunities in rural areas
Fibre optic broadband is making a huge difference to the lives of those in rural areas. There are numerous benefits, enabling people to study remotely and access important services like the NHS for health information.
It also means there are more opportunities for people to live away from urban centres, choosing to work from home.
Superfast broadband has an economic impact, bringing opportunity and jobs to businesses and fibre broadband even has an environmental impact: things like making video calls, rather than driving to a meeting, can help reduce our carbon footprint.
Increased data use
On a more personal level, we’re using the internet more and more. Ofcom says data consumption has doubled since 2012, with the average household using 58GB of data over broadband per month. And this is going to increase in the future, as we put more demands on our home broadband, so fast broadband will be essential.
Clever – and connected – gadgets
Within our homes, we’re seeing more appliances that can connect to the internet – also known as ‘the internet of things’. Gadgets like the Nest Learning Thermostat, Philips Hue lighting system and Smarter iKettle – so-called smart devices – connect to the internet, meaning they can be controlled remotely using a smartphone. So if you’re going to be late home, you can turn your heating off from your desk using your phone (meaning you save money!). Many connected devices can also work together: for example, if the Nest Protect smoke alarm detects a fire, it can communicate with the Nest thermostat, which automatically turns itself off.
Bigger, better storage
One of the most useful features of modern computing is the Cloud. The Cloud is a method of digital storage, where the internet – rather than a device – is used to store your files.
The days of being forced to choose between five terrestrial channels for an evening’s entertainment are long gone. More of us are streaming and downloading shows and movies from services like BT TV or Netflix – which according to Ofcom 4.4 million household subscribe too.
The new standard in television is Ultra HD or 4K – which has four times the amount of detail as HD and requires a fast broadband connection, because it uses a lot of data. Ultra HD brings more realistic, lifelike images to our TV screens, and it’s something more and more of us will be using in the future.
Whether it’s the internet of things, downloading movies, uploading photos to the Cloud or watching Ultra HD TV, faster broadband is going to be essential for quicker downloads, seamless streaming and more.
Broadband has changed our lives, allowing us to communicate quickly, entertain ourselves, get news from a range of sources and keep in touch with family members all over the world.