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What is Broadband Internet?

Broadband Internet‘ or just ‘Broadband‘ is a high speed internet access. It is much faster than the dial-up connection.

Dial-up connection is Internet access through Public Switched Telephone Networks. The word ‘Broadband’ consists of two words ‘Broad’ and ‘Band’. Broad means wide and band means a group of frequencies. Therefore, Broadband means wide range of frequencies. As broadband uses wide range of frequencies, it is much faster than the dial-up way of connecting.

Pictorial view of Broadband

The above portrays a clear picture of broadband connection.

Setting up a Broadband connection :

Broadband offers you a fast way to connect to the internet. It is ideal for medium and high level users. Example: Users who want to watch TV online,play multi-player games or carry out other online activities.

Setting up a broadband connection is very easy.

The following are few steps that are to be followed to setup a broadband connection :

1. Select your broadband package

In order to choose the proper broadband package, it is necessary to check a few things. Checking the following will aid in the process of selecting the broadband package :

* Broadband coverage in your area.

* The Internet transfer speed.

* The download limit.

The broadband coverage can be checked by visiting the ISP’s (Internet Service           Provider’s website). The ISP is the one who offers you the connection.

The transfer speed can also be checked by researching each of the packages.      If you want to watch movies, play online, then a 4MB package can serve the     purpose. A 4MB package is one which offers speed that is 80 times faster than        dial-up connection.

The availability and price also play a vital role in selecting your broadband       package. So check the availability and compare prices of packages from different   providers. Choose the package that best suits you. Once selected, you can contact the supplier and sign up for a connection.

2. Device

A router or a modem is required to connect the computer to the broadband service            Look out for suppliers who offer free routers or modems.

3. Setting Up

After having signed up you will have to arrange a date for an engineer to come to           your place who will do the needful.

Broadband in Detail

Broadband is usually called high speed access to the Internet because it has a high rate of data transmission. Any connection given to the customer that is 256 Kbits/s or more is generally considered as broadband internet.

Broadband Definitions given by ITU and OECD

  • The International Telecommunication Union Standardization sector (ITU-T) has defined broadband as a transmission capacity that is faster than the primary rate of ISDN(Integrated Services Digital Network), at 1.5 to 2 Mbits/s.
  • The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has defined broadband as ‘speed of 256 Kbits/s in one direction’. It is the most common baseline that is used to market broadband around the world.

There is no specific bit rate defined by the industry and hence broadband can mean lower bit rate transmission methods also.

In reality, the advertised bandwidth is not always available to the customer or the user. This is because the ISPs allow a greater number of subscribers under the assumption that most users will not be using the full connection capacity very often.

As and as the bandwidth that is delivered to the user increases, there is an expectation that the ‘video on demand’ services will become more popular. At present the data rates on most broadband services are not sufficient to provide good quality video. However, there is a gradual increase in the bandwidth and  the data rates. Increased bandwidth is evident from the fact that postings have grown from small JPEG files to large video files.

Types of Broadband Internet Connection :

There are several types of broadband internet connections available. Each have their own advantages. So it is better to know what are the types of connections and their advantages before you choose the package. There are three main types of broadband internet connection, they are :

  1. Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
  2. Cable
  3. Mobile Broadband

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)

This is one of the most common forms and is available everywhere unless      you live in a very remote area. With ADSL, Internet can be connected through existing phone lines using a modem or router and you will still be able to make or          receive calls while you are using the the internet. This is possible with the help of        micro-filters provided by the ISP. ADSL is cheap and easy to install.

Cable Internet

Cable Internet is a form of broadband internet access that uses Cable   Television(CATV) infrastructure.

It is also a common form but it’s not available as widely available as       ADSL. Cable type of connection service can be accessed when you live in large   residential area. Cable offers the same service as that of the ADSL and the cost    difference is very minimum.

Mobile Broadband

Mobile broadband is a form of internet access meant for people living in       remote and isolated rural areas where ADSL and Cable are not  available. Mobile broadband does not require telephone lines because it follows the antenna which    will send a signal to the connection point in the computer to access the internet.   Mobile broadband can be used on the go until there is coverage.

Broadband Technologies :

The standard broadband technologies in most of the regions are cable internet and ADSL. Newer technologies include fibre-optic communication, which enables broadband internet access by transmitting information over large distances much more cost-effective than the copper wire technology.

In areas where there is no cable internet and ADSL, organizations have started to install Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) networks, which is wireless internet within a range. The range where internet is available is called the hotspot.

The newest technology being deployed is the WiMAX, which is Wi-Fi with a coverage and QoS (Quality of Service) of cellular networks.

The following is a list of some broadband technologies :

  1. ADSL
  2. SDSL (Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line – offers symmetric bandwidth. It is considered the opposite of ADSL)
  3. Multilinking Modems
  4. Integrated Service Digital Network (ISDN)
  5. Wired Ethernet
  6. Cellular Broadband
  7. Power-Line internet

Broadband Access Worldwide

To reduce gap between people in accessing digital technologies, known as the digital divide, promotion is being done in order to make broadband connection available worldwide.

The above stats clearly show that the broadband internet users have increased in number due to the promotion activity being carried out to make broadband internet available worldwide.

Future Broadband

The future broadband world depends upon the successful implementation and maintenance of technologies like the BDR (Bonded DSL Rings), HSPDA (High-Speed Down-link Packet Access), etc. BDR gives speed up to 400 Mbits/s and the installation costs are 20 times lesser than that of optical fibre.

HSPDA is an enhanced third generation (3G) mobile communication protocol which allows UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunication System) to have higher transfer speeds and capacity. It currently supports down-link speeds of 1.8, 3.6, 7.2 and 14.0 Mbits/s.

There are also some other future broadband implementations that show that the future of broadband is going to be flamboyant.

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