Broadband

Broadband is the term that pertains generally to an internet service that often runs on cable connection, but is also available as DSL, or Fibr. The dawn of the internet age has provided several changes for the human race and civilization. Messaging and communication has never been as easy or as convenient as it is now. All this is thanks to the invention of the internet, and a huge part of this success is attributed to the development of broadband technology. Broadband was first used in the early 2000s. It provided internet users with the opportunity to browse and use the internet while making a phone call. It did this by splitting the signal transmission between internet data and telephone data, which is considered as one of the major upgrades from the traditional dial-up connection.[1] Broadband now consists of several devices or computers that form an almost infinite system of data exchange.

This innovation has also brought about greater convenience in terms of downloading files, songs, and movies, among others. Online streaming platforms would not be possible at a 56kbps connection speed. During its initial release, it would was extremely costly to have broadband services. Because of this, it wasn’t as commercially pupular and sought after in its early stages. Companies, however, were consistent in upgrading their services from competitors. This resulted in the development of fast broadband bundles. Today, everyone, at one point in their lives has used broadband connection.

Types

Broadband connections are far faster and more efficient than the old dial-up connection. As technology advances, more and more types of broadband connections have emerged. Most internet service providers consider several factors when offering broadband services. Whether users live in an urban or rural area matters, as ISPs factor in a user's location. Subscriber rates also vary depending on the broadband package. Here are some of the types of high-speed broadband connection available today.

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)

This type of broadband connection makes use of ordinary phone lines to deliver high speed internet. A phone company enables the line with a set frequency that will then send and receive internet traffic. DSL is a subscription based service that also requires a physical modem.[2] Below are the 2 types of DSL transmission technologies:

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line

This type of DSL transmission is mainly connected to a phone line. Made up of a pair of copper wires, this carries both voice signals and internet data to the other end of the phone connection but with different frequencies. These signals are affected by any disruption in the copper wire.[3]

Symmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (SDSL)

This type is preferred by most businesses which require constant video conferencing. This service needs high level of bandwidth for both upstream and downstream.[4]

Cable Modems

This type is similar to the DSL modem but instead of phone lines, the internet signal is connected through a coaxial cable and the ISP is a cable TV company. These modems are faster than DSL even if a lot are connected through it. The number of user though may affect the overall connection speed. The rates depend on the company and the package that you’re going to purchase.

Satellite Internet

Satellite broadband is offered by satellite TV providers. It is offered now at a cheaper price compared to when it was introduced. This is an option for people living in rural areas which are not reached by fiber or cable connection. It is similar to a wireless connection that uses a modem to work. In terms of speed, it is as good as a cable connection.[5]

WiFi

Wireless Fidelity is a high-speed connection that is limited to a short distance. Devices which are embedded with WiFi receivers can obtain signals up to 75 feet from the router. Free connections or hotspot zones are offered by most companies for its customers. Although free and efficient, it is unsecure and data can be easily intercepted from one wireless access point to another.

Wireless (Cellular Broadband)

A lot of companies offer high-speed access to their consumers by selling small modems through a wireless cellular network. Unlike WiFi that is open or shared, this type is only available to a single connection even if there is no WiFi signal, as long as there is cellular service. Most smartphones now also have the ability to "tether" cellular data to other devices as well through a hotspot.

Fiber-optic

This is the transfer of full or partial data using light signals through fiber, a thin glass wire inside a large protective cable. Since it is the newest addition to the DSL, its service areas are still limited. If developed fully, it would be the fastest among all the types.

Measurement

Like bandwidth, it is measured in megabits per second (Mbps). The higher the number of megabits, the faster is your broadband connection. With faster broadband speed, downloading movies, streaming online, and making video calls will be quicker and will be done without the hassle of waiting.[6]

Here are a couple of activities and their required minimum broadband speed for your reference:

  • Web browsing: 1 Mbps for download
  • Video streaming (HD): 5 Mbps for download
  • Video streaming (Ultra HD): 30 Mbps for download
  • Voice over IP: 256Kbps for both download and upload
  • Online gaming (real time): 256Kbps for download and 512Kbps for upload
  • Video calling: 1 Mbps for download and upload

Each of the stated broadband types offers almost the same service but varies in speed, cost, and reliability. When it comes to office jobs, wired connection is best for it is always available and more secured. Wireless broadband works best for people living within range of a cellular service. Although it is faster and more efficient, wired connection is still more secure when it comes to data interception.


  1. https://www.uswitch.com/broadband/guides/broadband_history/ ↩︎

  2. https://www.techwalla.com/articles/dsl-vs-broadband-vs-wireless ↩︎

  3. http://www.it4nextgen.com/difference-adsl-vdsl-broadband-internet/ ↩︎

  4. https://www.fcc.gov/general/types-broadband-connections ↩︎

  5. https://www.dospeedtest.com/blogs/the-different-type-of-broadband-connections/ ↩︎

  6. http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/57655/~/broadband-speed%3A-what-is-it-and-how-does-it-work%3F ↩︎