The first-ever FCC test of nationwide broadband speeds, called Measuring Broadband America, compares technologies, providers, and the actual speeds they offer. Following is a step-by-step guide to making use of that data and other available resources in order to decide the broadband service that is best for you. This is very important especially to those that have work at home jobs and those making IT investments.

1. What is broadband speed?

Each page, video, and image on a website arrives at your home device or equipment as small packets or pieces of data. The speed at which these packets move is measured in megabits per second (“Mbps”). Broadband technology can transmit these packets to and from your home much faster than dial-up service that uses a telephone line and modem. Broadband connections have two speeds: upload and download. Upload speed is the speed of getting data from your computer to the web, and download speed is the opposite.

2. What speed to you require?

You can go online to monitor a health condition; watch the latest news videos; get your kids’ homework assignments via e-mail; or log into an interactive, real-time classroom. Regardless of your goals, you will need broadband Internet service that is dependable and predictable.

If you want to learn more about the speed required for a specific web-based activity, review the FCC Broadband Speed Guide. This Guide displays the minimum download speed required for best performance of every type of online activity.

3. Consider your entire household

The FCC’s Guide provides speed estimates needed for one person to conduct one activity at a time online. Many people, however, use multiple devices simultaneously to access the Internet; and, many households have multiple family members online simultaneously.

Note: if you are in the UK check out BT broadband packages for the best deals available.

4. Consider more than just download speed

Although download speed is the most significant factor in broadband service, it is not the ONLY factor. Based on your online activities, you might also want to consider upload speed. This is the speed at which you may transmit data from your PC or device to the Web.