Life after broadband will never be the same. Although it might sound slightly over-dramatic, growing internet speeds have made a significant impact on almost every aspect of modern society; completely transforming the way we communicate, connect and work on a day-to-day basis.
First launching at the turn of the century, fast broadband finally put an end to those inconsistent and unreliable dial-up connections, although many homeowners were reluctant to make the switch to broadband upon its release. Initially providing maximum speeds of 512Kbps, broadband has developed rapidly over the past 19 years, with ultra-fast fibre connections now providing eye-watering download speeds of 300Mbps.
According to the latest ONS figures, 89% of UK adults use the internet on a weekly basis, with 98% of houses with internet access connecting via broadband. Now almost 20 years since it was first introduced, we’re taking a look at how the growing influence of broadband has changed the world as we know it.
The Rise of Remote Working
At long last, the days of the restrictive 9-to-5 are finally coming to an end. The latest ONS figures show that over 4 million people solely work from home, while research from Total Jobs found that 65% of employees can work remotely at least some of the time. Rather than being shackled to their desks for 8 hours a day, people can now work exactly where they want to.
Of course, without broadband, such flexible working environments just wouldn’t be possible. Successful businesses thrive off effective communication and collaboration, and reliable broadband is essential in keeping remote workers connected with the rest of the team. Since video conferencing and shared workspaces are becoming such a common feature of the modern workplace, broadband is actually helping workers to collaborate more efficiently than ever before.
Flexible Home Entertainment
Not so long ago, keeping up with your favourite TV show would either entail making sure you were in front of the telly for a certain time every week, or setting your VCR to record and praying it didn’t accidentally tape the wrong channel. Thanks to modern broadband, however, we now have access to an endless cycle of on-demand catch-up services.
Instead of struggling to keep up with the impulses of live TV schedules, now we can simply watch what we want at a time that best suits us. The likes of Netflix, Now TV and BBC iPlayer all boast millions of monthly users, with recent Ofcom figures showing that 79% of UK adults use catch-up services to watch multiple episodes back-to-back.
Whether you’re an addicted binge-watcher or not, there’s no denying that broadband now gives us access to entertainment 24 hours a day. Since our professional working lives seem to be getting busier by the day (which, again, is largely down to the constant connectivity of broadband), this level of flexibility is absolutely essential if you ever hope to keep up with Game of Thrones.
Even Our Homes are Smarter Now
Although smartphones and smart TVs have been around for years now, broadband has allowed technology to advance to a whole new level in recent times. Through a reliable, unlimited internet connection, people can now easily control their light bulbs, appliances and other gadgets through their smartphone or voice-activated assistant. Allowing us to remotely set our thermostats, flick the kettle on or even instigate an entire night-time routine, smart homes make it easier than ever for us to save on our energy bills and, more importantly, keep our homes secure.
This level of convenience and control is designed to make our day-to-day lives as easy as possible, providing us with valuable peace of mind and ultimately letting us create the perfect home atmosphere. Without the advent of broadband, such revolutionary technology just wouldn’t be possible—and we can’t wait to see what it leads to next.
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