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How does broadband work?


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Broadband is a technology that transmits data at high-speeds along cables, ISDN and DSLs (Digital Subscriber Lines) giving users a faster connection to the internet than possible via old-fashioned dial-up. Broadband is always On and more reliable high speed internet connection. Broadband is 10 to 100 times faster than a 56 kbps Dial-up connection. So how does broadband work?

Instead of treating your phone line as a single, narrow pipe between your computer and the ISP's computer, like a dialup connection, broadband divides the line into many different channels. Information can travel in parallel streams down these channels. It's like dividing a highway into several lanes: lots more traffic can go down it in parallel than down a single-lane road. This is why broadband is so much faster than dialup. An average broadband line, working at 512Kbps, is about nine times faster than the best dialup connection, while a really fast broadband line, working at up to 8MBps (megabits per second), can be over 100 times quicker!

How does ADSL Broadband work?

ADSL uses regular household telephone lines to receive and transmit data. To accomplish this task, ADSL data is transmitted on frequencies outside of the normal voice call range.

The information that you initially receive in your home is a series of digital signals which come through your modem and are decoded and recoded into usable information. Using this information your computer lets you view your favourite websites and check your e-mails. And because broadband works on an always on basis the connection is never switched off, like it is with dial-up, so you can access the internet any time.

How does Cable Broadband work?

Cable modem service enables cable operators to provide broadband using the same coaxial cables that deliver pictures and sound to your TV set. Most cable modems are external devices that have two connections, one to the cable wall outlet and the other to a computer. They 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. Speeds are comparable to DSL.

How does Wireless Broadband work?

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 broadband can be mobile or fixed. 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. An external antenna is usually required.

How does Satellite Broadband work?

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, also useful for serving remote or sparsely populated areas.

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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