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As a home user why should I want broadband?
A quality, reliable and fast broadband service is technology that can bring benefits in lots of different ways.
Benefits for home users
The internet is becoming the future of how we will receive television. There is already a large amount of video content available via the internet. All the major broadcasters have provided websites that allow programmes to be watched or listened to "on demand" over the internet, this includes the BBC's iPlayer. This can be either by "streaming", downloading and watching in real time, or downloading, saving and watching later. Both BT and Virgin Media also have a service to allow their customers to download films via the internet and watch them, in a similar way to hiring a video or DVD. To cater for this some electrical manufacturers are building internet capability and connections in to their latest ranges of televisions.
Watching a programme on iPlayer is nearly impossible without a fast connection to the internet, as the data cannot be sent fast enough to allow smooth playback of the images.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)
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.
VoIP can offer substantial savings on ordinary call costs, as well as having a range of other features that make it attractive to businesses. For consumers, there are several systems, but probably the most commonly-used is Skype - www.skype.com
A PC to PC Skype call anywhere in the world is free.If you want to phone a land line, you can still make very significant savings over using your ordinary telephone line. For example, 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.
VoIP operates best with fast broadband.
With a high speed broadband connection, you can easily share connection to the Internet amongst several PCs or other devices in your home. 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.Wi-Fi routers are commonplace and inexpensive: many ISPs incorporate a combined modem/Wi-Fi router into their subscription package. Wi-Fi is also often available to use in public spaces such as hotels, railway stations and coffee shops.