With just 50 cities in the US providing gigabit infrastructure directly into homes, Burlington has something rare to offer its residents, businesses, and community members. But most of us aren’t even quite sure what a gigabit is (hint: a billion bits), so how do you know what a gigabit fiber network means for you?
At a basic level, Burlington’s gig means you have access to a data-transmission medium (fiber) that’s faster than any other. Translated into real value: you can pat yourself on the back for choosing a fantastic place to live, and these are just a few reasons why.
1. Gigabit Internet in Burlington Provides More Job Opportunities
The next generation of web applications will be built with fiber Internet connectivity, and the people building them will be making salaries 1.5 to 2.5 times greater than the average private sector salary. Tech companies are demanding faster and faster speeds to build their products, and where the companies go, jobs follow. Burlington’s national status as a growing tech hub is intimately connected with its fiber-driven connectivity. The gigabit economy is alive and well here, with companies like Dealer.com and institutions like the University of Vermont and Champlain College hiring and innovating at lightning speeds.
That vibrancy means more and better paying opportunities for you, your spouse, your kids, those friends you’ve been encouraging to move cross country and make Burlington their home. As one high school student put it: “Anything I want to do, I can do from here.”
2. High Speed Fiber Can Create Safer Communities
Local and national security operations rely increasingly on technology to solve both immediate and long-term, complex problems of public safety. Cyber forensics experts are already a vital and necessary piece of our criminal justice system, but many communities do not have them or have access to them. Plans to use Burlington’s fiber network to develop a gigabit-powered forensic operations center at Champlain College recently won a prestigious national award. With that type of innovation, Burlingtonians can rest easy knowing they’re making Burlington—and communities around the country—safer.
3. Next Generation Internet is Perfect for Next Generation Entertainment
Remember when one person using the hairdryer at the same time someone else used the toaster meant the whole house lost power? Thank goodness that’s a thing of the past. Or is it? Your son is streaming a movie in his bedroom. Your wife is on a Skype conference call in her office. You’re watching last week’s Saturday Night Live skit, and suddenly…. everyone steps out into the hallway and asks the same question: “Is something wrong with the internet?” Your son’s movie has stalled. The folks on your wife’s Skype call are frozen in place, and you were left hanging without the SNL punch line. Must not have gigabit Internet.
As we become more connected with our laptops and our phones and our televisions and our fitness devices, enjoying the many entertainment options available to us will require more speed. Waiting until the next device comes on line to ramp up Internet speeds could create unfortunate—and if you’re in Burlington, unnecessary—lags.
4. Students With Access Have More Robust Educational Opportunities
Students in Burlington—and the communities around it—have the benefit of a thriving tech economy spurred on in part by a gigabit infrastructure that sends an Anything is possible message to those who play in the tech space. Middle school kids head down to the Generator maker space to work with educators in residence on 3D printers or in their computer lab. Students learn coding in their classrooms and get demonstrations of virtual reality applications from leading experts. High School teams put their heads together at all-night hackathons to practice their app development skills alongside seasoned professionals. A tech economy that has no bounds is a welcoming source of information for young minds that will be called upon to think big as their world changes and grows.
5. Homes with Gigabit Internet Sell for More
Just like some new shutters and a window box can improve the curb appeal of your home and snag you a few extra thousand when you sell, the ability to offering a buyer the exceptional speeds of gigabit internet is boosting home values in communities across the country. Of course, high-speed Internet doesn’t only impact the price; not having it can stop a sale altogether. With more and more people—especially Millennials—working remotely and relying on faster speeds for everything from downloading work documents to uploading Facebook live videos, high speeds are quickly becoming non-negotiable in the real estate market.
So go ahead and open up that 17th browser tab, play that cat video while you download a new app to your phone and search Zillow for your current house value. Why not back up your system to the cloud while you’re at it? And tell your kids to stream a movie. Burlington’s network has your back.
By: Katie Taylor Writing for Burlington Telecom