Broadband is delivered by two groups of technologies: wired and wireless. These speeds may be delivered to the end user in a variety of formats, including fiber optic, co-axial cable infrastructure, DSL, fixed wireless access (FWA), cellular or satellite.
Any data that comes to your home or business computer must use the broadband network, whether it comes from another home computer for email or video conferencing or a large data center server that provides for online shopping, streaming or web browsing. The same is true for anything you send or upload.
But what is a broadband network?
Backbone or first mile: In this analogy, the backbone is the Interstate Highway System. The backbone includes connections between large cities, major towns and major data centers.
Middle mile: Middle mile is analogous to state and county roads. It links smaller towns and neighborhoods between cities. Having a middle-mile connection nearby is necessary to enable last-mile connections.
Last mile: Last mile is akin to local roads. It is the connection that goes to every house, business and apartment. Depending on data needs, last mile can be provided through a number of technologies explained above.
For a more detailed description, download the Texas Broadband Plan, 2022 (PDF).
The Texas Comptroller’s flagship publication, Fiscal Notes, has reported on Texas’ Digital Divide and Broadband Expansion in Texas.
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