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What is Broadband?


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Broadband is high-speed Internet access with high rate of data transmission. Broadband in telecommunications means a wide range of frequencies that are available to transmit information. This ultimately means that the wider the range of frequencies available, the high the amount of information that can be sent at one given time. For an easy way to picture a broadband internet connection compared to a narrowband internet connection, think of a highway. With a one lane highway (narrowband), only one car at a time can travel, however with broadband, you can have a highway with 6 or 8 lanes, allowing more traffic to pass at one specific time.

Types of Broadband Internet Connection

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
Cable Internet
Fiber
Wireless Internet
Satellite Internet

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)

DSL is a wireline transmission technology that transmits data faster over traditional copper telephone lines already installed to homes and businesses. DSL-based broadband provides transmission speeds ranging from several hundred Kbps to millions of bits per second (Mbps). The availability and speed of your DSL service may depend on the distance from your home or business to the closest telephone company facility.

Cable Internet

Cable modem service enables cable operators to provide broadband using the same coaxial cables that deliver pictures and sound to your TV set. Cable modem provide transmission speeds of 1.5 Mbps or more.

Subscribers can access their cable modem service simply by turning on their computers without dialing-up an ISP. You can still watch cable TV while using it.

Transmission speeds vary depending on the type of cable modem, cable network, and traffic load.

Fiber

Fiber optic technology converts electrical signals carrying data to light and sends the light through transparent glass fibers about the diameter of a human hair. Fiber transmits data at speeds far exceeding current DSL or cable modem speeds, typically by tens or even hundreds of Mbps.

Wireless Internet

Wireless broadband connects a home or business to the Internet using a radio link between the customer’s location and the service provider’s facility. Wireless technologies using longer range directional equipment provide broadband service in remote or sparsely populated areas where DSL or cable modem service would be costly to provide. Speeds are generally comparable to DSL and cable modem.

Satellite Internet

Just as satellites orbiting the earth provide necessary links for telephone and television service, they can also provide links for broadband. Satellite broadband is another form of wireless broadband.

Downstream and upstream speeds for satellite broadband depend on several factors, including the provider and service package purchased, the consumer’s line of sight to the orbiting satellite, and the weather. Typically a consumer can expect to receive (download) at a speed of about 500 Kbps and send (upload) at a speed of about 80 Kbps. These speeds may be slower than DSL and cable modem, but download speed is about 10 times faster than download speed with dial-up Internet access. Service can be disrupted in extreme weather conditions.

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