broadband map


National USA Broadband Mao   


What is Broadband?


 Broadband is the word commonly used to describe a technologically advanced, high-speed internet connection.  Some countries, like Norway, have very high levels of broadband.  Other countries, like those in Africa, have lower levels of broadband networks.  See the above map to see the distribution of broadband in the USA, as determined by broadband speed tests.

Australia is establishing a The National Broadband Network (NBN), which is then sold to private concerns in different regions.  So, the extent of broadband differs in each country.  There is no such national broadband network in the USA.  
 Certain files, like movies or music, take up a lot of signal, and put a severe strain on low bandwidth connections, but do not hinder higher broadband connections.
One notable fact, is that some developing countries are not hindered by a fixed line infrastructure.  As said in Wiki:
“Demand from emerging markets fueled growth in mobile broadband . Without a widespread fixed line infrastructure, many emerging markets leapfrog developed markets and use mobile broadband technologies to deliver high-speed internet access to the mass market.”

Therefore, some undeveloped countries can even surpass developing countries concerning the pervasiveness of broadband, if they develop mobile platforms.

Most hospitals in the USA have good broadband internet connections.  And, in most areas of the country, Smartphones have a strong wireless broadband connection.In the old days, about 10 years ago, dial-up was the most common way to connect to the internet.  Then came along DSL, and broadband, which was expensive.  However, costs of broadband has decreased very much, and is accessible to most of American households.  As a sidenote, In India, Microsft is expermenting with doing telemedicine by low bandwidth.

The significance of the pervasiveness of broadband, it that it allows for transfer of large files, like images, over great distances.  For example, one could send a large x-ray file to a hospital in Japan very quickly.  And one could receive and read an EKG rhythm strip from Tanzania, Africa on an iPhone in seconds.

Broadband is one of the converging facts that helped the ongoing digitalization of medicine, encouraging growth in areas of sensor development to transmit signals almost in real time, as well as the aforementioned transmission of image files over great distances.

Worldwide Broadband?

And just as it is important to follow changes in healthcare due to the internet, it is important to follow, although from afar, changes in the underlying technology of the internet in areas such as broadband.  Currently, the big story in broadband is the development of a technology of WIMAX, which will enable broadband to almost worldwide.  “It is a technology where you don’t even need a computer to access the internet, just a phone in your hand can get you connected across the globe. It has made it possible to access the net through your mobile phones which is indeed a great advantage.

And, like the technology of wireless, broadband, in the future will become almost universal, due to strengthening power the telecommuication hardware.  This is another factor that will hasten more developments, and changes in Medicine and Healthcare in the world.

Currently some areas of the world are hindered by low broadband, such as the mountains of India.  Other changes are made in technology to make up for low bandwidth, as seen in this study.

Microsoft in India with improve telemedicine video set up that uses low bandwidth

“In Bangalore : A virtual classroom solution for cloud computing that enables the conduct of live, HD quality, two-way audio/video interactive classes at as low as 200 Kbps speeds and a location-based mobile service that cuts out clutter and spam have been named the top winners of the Microsoft BizSpark India Startup Challenge. June 7, 2012”

The Fastest Broadband In The Country Is Being Built by Local Communities
Telemedicine Gains Strength in the Broadband Era




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