Skip navigation

Residents

This page is to give individuals people the benefits of faster broadband in their household to their family.

How can faster broadband benefit me and / or my family?

Having access to faster broadband will allow individuals and families to take advantage of the opportunities that are not otherwise possible.  If your home is in a "not spot" or "slow spot" area for broadband, there are some suggestions below of how faster broadband may benefit you.  To take advantage of these benefits, you may wish to become involved in a community campaign for faster broadband in your area.

Register your interest by completing this short form - give a couple of minutes of your time and please encourage your friends, family and colleagues to do the same!

General benefits

A good broadband connection to your home means there is greater capacity to send and receive data.  You can receive and send far more information to and from your computer in the same period of time.  This allows you to access the Internet, browse the web more effectively, download files faster and send and receive e-mails quicker.

 Advanced, faster broadband offers even greater speeds and more possibilities.  Other options also become possible too:

  • A broadband connection is "always on" - no waiting for dial-up connectivity if you still use this route to the Internet.  This means that you are immediately productive without having to wait for connection
  • A broadband connection also frees up the telephone line that was previously used to connect to the Internet via dial up.
  • As broadband comes at a fixed price, you can budget effectively
  • Many websites are now "media-rich".  This means that they don't just have text and limited graphics, but have interactive elements, streaming sound and video and other elements.  They are designed to be used via broadband.
  • There are many social media websites which allow a real online community to develop - of which you can be a part e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter.  Although they do work with slower broadband, a high-speed connection enables a much better online experience for their users.
  • However - as broadband means you are always connected to the Internet, you will need to make sure that you are safe by having a good firewall system and an anti-virus program in place.

Share your broadband connection

With a high-speed broadband connection, you can easily share connection to the Internet amongst several PCs or other devices in your home.  This would not be practical for a dial-up connection, and may be unacceptably slow for a low speed broadband connection.

Many homes now have several PCs, laptops, and other devices (such Nintendo Wii's, Smart Phones, and e-Book Readers) that can all access the Internet.  By setting up a simple Wi-Fi (wireless) network in your home, all family members will be able to access the Internet via a range of devices. This means that employment, education, leisure and entertainment possibilities are open to all the family.

Teleworking / Virtual Working

Broadband, combined with other technologies have all led to the emergence of a new form of working. This mixture of new technology and patterns of work is known as Teleworking or Virtual Working.  It typically combines Internet access to the base office and VoIP systems too.  Depending on your job, you might be able to use faster broadband to work from home.  This could mean less commuting and dependence on transport links.

 If you run your own business, faster broadband may enable you to run this from home.  This may allow you to reduce your overheads on premises costs.  Another incentive for the growth for new, virtual working is the increased emphasis on legal rights on work/life balance within jobs e.g. people with children or other care commitments may be able to use broadband to restructure their working days.  This may benefit both them and their employers.

Education

Superfast broadband allows access to a broad range of educational material, in a variety of formats, for toddlers to adults.  For example:

Many universities, colleges and other organisations are also developing more distance learning courses.  Learn Direct| also provides access to many courses run by UK bodies.  Finally, school children are often required to undertake independent research as part of their studies - faster broadband makes this much easier.

TV, radio, music and interactive games online

From catching up on missed TV programmes via BBC i-Player| or the ITV equivalent|, faster broadband allows a huge range of entertainment possibilities.  If you prefer music, streaming radio channels from around the world cater to all musical tastes.  You can find these and over 5000 other stations for free, visit the Online Radio Stations website

 If you enjoy interactive games via your PC, many allow play with other players worldwide via a good broadband connection.  You can also connect some other devices to the Internet (via a Wi-Fi connection) to your faster broadband.  For example, in addition to being able to access BBC i-Player, Nintendo Wii games console can also give you access to play some online games worldwide with other players.  Other games consoles have similar features too.

Cheap telecoms

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a technology that allows you to make telephone calls using your broadband Internet connection instead of your (analogue) phone line.  Your voice is broken up by special software into small packets of data, sent through the Internet, and reassembled at the other end.  This happens almost instantaneously, with no discernable time lag and at good quality - as good as a landline call.  There are several systems, but probably the most common in consumer use is Skype.

By using this service, and a simple, cheap microphone / earphone headset or a cheap Skype phone, a PC-to-PC call anywhere in the world is free.  If you want to phone a landline, you can still make significant savings over your ordinary telephone line e.g. buying Skype credits and calling a landline in Australia would cost less than £1 for an hour!  This could substantially reduce call costs to friends and relatives overseas.

Other benefits

Many national and local government and other services are now moving online - it is a much more cost-effective option.  Superfast broadband allows individuals and communities to easily access a wide range of services from sites such as visit the gov.uk website.  This site allows users to find out information on a huge range of topics, from "who is the local neighbourhood policing team" to "how to make my community greener".

Other online commercial services may also be helpful to people and families e.g. living in a rural area without owning a car may make shopping a problem.  Many supermarkets offer online shopping with delivery to your door - easy to access with faster broadband.  Likewise, other services such as online banking make life easier for people in more remote communities.

Powered by GOSS iCM
©  Dumfries and Galloway Council