Broadband Basics

Why Do We Need Better Broadband?

Broadband is the connection that allows you to access the internet. Access to reliable, high-speed broadband is critical to a community's success in today's technologically centered world. But broadband in McLean County continues to be inconsistent. Currently, many areas of McLean County lack service, experience poor service, or pay unaffordable rates.

Improved broadband services can enhance the way we work and live. Whether its e-learning, telehealth, work from home job opportunities, e-commerce and small business operations, agricultural operations, or economic development opportunities, reliable broadband access is at the center of most industries.

Advanced broadband infrastructure has the potential to attract new businesses, increase job opportunities and population growth, and improve the community's economic vitality overall.


The Digital Divide

The Digital Divide refers to the gap between people who have high speed broadband access and those who don't. Rural areas are more likely to experience the digital divide because it is expensive for internet service providers to install broadband infrastructure in less densely populated areas. Because of this divide, many residents in rural McLean County do not have access to high speed broadband or any level of broadband service at all.

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Broadband Technologies

  • Fixed Wireless: radio waves are transmitted by a cell tower to deliver internet signal to an exterior antenna on your home
  • Fiber Optic: strands of glass or plastic cables that allow for data to be sent far distances using pulses of light
  • Copper Wire: electrical wiring that uses electronic impulses to send and receive data

What is WiFi?

  • Broadband is a highspeed internet connection that is always active. The broadband will operate with or without Wi-Fi
  • Wi-Fi is a wireless technology that enables various devices to connect to the internet

Learn About Broadband

Review resources to learn more about what broadband is and the benefits it can bring to communities.

Check Out News on McLean County's Broadband Initiative