The base unit of information in computing. For our purposes, also the base unit of measuring network speeds. A single piece of information is equal to 1 bit. Network speeds tend to be measured by bits per second—using kilo (1,000), mega (1,000,000), and giga (1,000,000,000). A bit is a part of byte; they are not synonyms. Bit is generally abbreviated with a lowercase b.
The term broadband commonly refers to high-speed internet access that is always on and faster than traditional dial-up access. Broadband includes several high-speed transmission technologies, such as fiber, wireless, satellite, digital subscriber line, and cable. For the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), broadband capability requires consumers to have access to actual download speeds of at least 25 Mbps and actual upload speeds of at least 3 Mbps.
Cable television companies have offered internet access via their cable system for more than a decade. The network architecture uses a loop that connects each subscriber in a given neighborhood, meaning they all share one big connection to the internet.
A telecommunication company’s building where consumers’ phone lines are attached to equipment that connects a consumer to other consumers in that central office or other central offices across the globe.
Schools, libraries, medical and health care providers, public safety entities, institutes of higher education and other community support organizations that provide outreach, access, equipment, and support services to facilitate greater use of broadband service by the entire population and local governments.
A reinforced tube through which cabling runs. Conduit is useful both to protect fiber-optic cables in the ground and because one can place the conduit underground when convenient and later “pull” the fiber cabling through the conduit.
Recognizes that digital access and skills are now required for full participation in many aspects of society and the economy. Digital Equity links Digital Inclusion to social justice and highlights that a lack of access and/or skills can further isolate individuals and communities from a broad range of opportunities.
Implies that individuals and communities have access to robust broadband connections; internet-enabled devices that meet their needs; and the skills to explore, create, and collaborate in the digital world.
The use of wireless devices/systems in connecting two fixed locations, such as offices or homes. The connections occur through the air, rather than through fiber, resulting in a less expensive alternative to a fiber connection.
A facility that is open to the public and provides broadband access, education, support, and training relevant to community needs. PCC locations include, but are not limited to, community colleges, libraries, schools, youth centers, employment service centers, and centers in public housing developments, among many others, that provide broadband access to the general public or specific vulnerable populations, such as low-income, unemployed, older adults, children, minorities and people with disabilities.
ROW are legal rights to pass through property owned by another. ROW are frequently used to secure access to land for digging trenches, deploying fiber, constructing towers and deploying equipment on existing towers and utility poles.
A conceptual tool used to organize and map the physical phenomena of electromagnetic waves. These waves propagate through space at different radio frequencies, and the set of all possible frequencies is called the electromagnetic spectrum.
Includes regulated and unregulated services offered to customers for the transmission of 2-way interactive communication and associated usage. A telecommunication service is not a public utility service (from the Michigan Telecommunications Act).