What Is Broadband?

by Contributor

Broadband is a term used to describe different types of high-speed Internet access. T6, a mode of transmitting information, may be compared with narrow-band Internet connections in terms of a highway: broadband Internet access is a the equivalent of a multi-lane freeway that allows more traffic than a single lane street (narrow band). It is a faster, better-quality access to the worldwide web than dial-up, its predecessor. The two are fundamentally different in terms of connection speed, rates of data transmission and price.


There are a number of types of broadband media connections, but there are five technologies that are in most common use today: The first is asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL), the second is symmetric digital subscriber line (SDSL) and the third is cable. Satellite broadband and wireless broadband are the fourth and fifth respectively.


ADSL is a popular broadband connection in the consumer market. This is primarily because anyone with a normal telephone line will be able to use ADSL. Speeds of ADSL can range from 128 kilobits per second to more than 5 megabits per second. Because ADSL is asymmetrical, uploading data is much slower than downloading data from the Internet. Unlike ADSL broadband, you need an additional phone line to use a symmetric digital subscriber line. SDSL has equal upload and download speeds.


While ADSL and SDSL both require a telephone line, cable broadband provides an Internet connection that runs through the existing coaxial cables in your home, in much the same way as your television channels are displayed. If you own a cable television set, you will be able to connect to a cable connection. For this reason, cable broadband connections are much faster than either ADSL or SDSL, because cable has a higher bandwidth capacity than a telephone line. The speeds of cable connections can range from 2 megabits per second to 8 megabits per second.


Satellite broadband technology functions much like a cable connection. Satellite broadband connections are common in rural areas, where other broadband technologies are still relatively rare. A satellite dish is used to send and receive data.

Time Frame

Wireless broadband is a relatively new type of broadband technology. Wireless broadband transmits data in the same way that mobile phones transmit data. In order to access a wireless broadband connection, you will usually have to connect a mobile phone to your laptop or desktop computer. Speeds of wireless broadband can range from 128 kilobits per second to 3 megabits per second.


Broadband can deliver high-speed Internet access because of its high data transmission rate. This rate of data transmission is based on a maximum download speed, which, in turn, is measured in and megabits per second. Data rates for broadband connections vary because consumer broadband technologies such as ADSL support a slower upload data rate than download rate. Broadband connections can also have various bandwidths with varying data rates, which can range from 64 kilobits per second to 1 megabits per second.

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