Definition of High Speed Internet

By Rob Kemmett

i Hemera Technologies/ Images

“High-speed Internet” is a generic term used for Internet service that is faster than the average. One way to determine if a connection is high-speed is to compare it to the speed of dial-up service. If a connection operates faster than dial-up, it is often defined as “high-speed.”


High-speed Internet is Internet access provided by a network of servers that transfers data via high-speed cable, satellite and wireless connections. Broadband connections transmit information digitally. Information is sent and received as bits of data, which move much faster than the traditional analog dial-up connections.

Speed Comparison

As a whole, high-speed Internet is much faster than analog dial-up services. High-speed Internet services operate at speeds between 7.1 and 50 megabytes per second. Some high-speed services operate at up to 100 megabytes per second. Dial-up Internet services operate at up to 768 kilobytes per second, which means high-speed Internet operates up to 1,000 times faster than dial-up. A DSL connection is considered high-speed, but does not operate as fast as a cable connection; cable connections are not as fast as fiber optic.

Price Comparison

Faster speed translates into higher prices. Dial-up service is relatively inexpensive, costing anywhere between $6.95 and $19.95 per month at time of publication. Depending on the service provider and type of connection (DSL, cable or fiber optic), high-speed Internet access may cost between $20 and $145 monthly.

Service Providers

High-speed Internet service is offered by a variety of local, national and worldwide telecommunications service providers. Companies such as Comcast, Cox Cable, AT&T and Verizon provide customers with high-speed Internet and related services. Not all telecommunications companies provide high-speed Internet service in each part of the country. Check with your service provider for availability.