Earlier today, President Obama traveled to Cedar Falls, Iowa to share how this small city has done some big things to deliver lightning-fast Internet to the entire metro area. This afternoon, he toured the Cedar Falls Utilities headquarters to see how technicians connect homes and businesses to the area’s fiber optic network, and called for more communities to deliver this vital resource to their economy.
So here are five things you need to know about today’s announcement.
1. Fiber optic Internet is really, really fast.
The average American broadband customer has around 10 Mbps, which means downloading an HD movie would take around 22 minutes. Once reserved for research universities and major telecommunications carriers, fiber optic Internet is now available direct to homes and businesses. And along with it comes blazing speeds of around 1 gigabyte — or 1,000 megabytes — per second. That’s around 100 times faster than the average American Internet connection, and brings down the time to download that same HD movie to around eight seconds. That’s right: eight seconds.