Smart City Telecom Blog

How the Internet Changed the Way We Live

By Debbie Burke

“You’ve got mail!” brings back fond memories. Until you remember that you had to get off the Internet because someone needed to use the phone.

Dial-up speed was supposed to be 56 Kbps but was usually only a painfully slow 28 Kbps. Downloading files took from 10 to 15 minutes, up to several hours, assuming the Internet didn’t quit in the process, forcing you to restart the download. AOL and other web browsers charged $9.95 a month for up to 5 hours and $2.95 per additional hour, charges racked up rather quickly.

In the mid-2000s, cable and telephone companies launched cable modems and DSL, allowing users to be online and make phone calls simultaneously. With much faster connection speeds – 786Kbps downstream and 128Kbps upstream, it was easier to browse the Internet, download and send files for around $40 a month with unlimited access. But it was a shared technology and often slowed during peak times when everyone was online.

Smart City Telecom, headquartered in Celebration, has been serving this community since 1996. In 2014, Smart City continued their commitment to Celebration by delivering one of the fastest and most advanced networks in the United States, offering Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH). Available to more than 4,300 homes in Celebration, FTTH gives the residents and businesses in Celebration a much faster, more reliable connection. With a 1 Gbps connection, an HD movie can be downloaded in less than a minute.

When the pandemic hit, in households without a high-speed Internet connection children struggled with schoolwork and working from home became far more difficult. Internet connections just weren’t fast enough to deal with the growing data demand. Fiber is the best way to ensure your Internet is capable of data-heavy tasks like supporting multiple users and devices, lag-free Zoom meetings, online gaming, and 8K picture quality streaming.

The one certainty – the Internet has undoubtedly changed how we live and interact.

  • Social media has changed the way we communicate and build relationships. We no longer send letters or cards or call people. Chat rooms and forums evolved into social networks and online communities. With Facebook and Twitter, we increasingly rely on strangers to help decide what to do and buy.
  • Google and other search engines have become our source of truth. The Internet has become the primary information source, with Google providing the main door to access it.
  • Buying on Amazon, eBay, and online marketplaces have replaced visiting a physical store, forever changing how we shop.
  • Driving to the bank has been replaced with online banking and mobile check-cashing applications. PayPal, Venmo, and other payment applications have replaced the need for checks, making it easier to complete transactions.
  • Watching movies has gone from driving to a video store to rent a VHS, hoping that the movie you wanted was available, to streaming movies through your TV and computer, anytime, anywhere.
  • The evolution of web-based tools and the growth of cloud services like Zoom have made the need to spend eight hours a day in the office unnecessary to be productive.

The good news is that the 1 Gbps symmetrical fiber to the home service offered by Smart City Telecom is your best defense to future-proof your Internet connection for all your data needs.  Visit to sign up today.