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What is broadband?
|Defining broadband can get complicated
There are many different takes on how to actually define the word: broadband. The first and most obvious way to define it is a transmission medium that allows for multiple pathways and types of data, far exceeding simple voice communication devices. Simply, put it is the ability to access a variety of data through one connection at a reasonable speed.
Where a phone line severely limits the amount of information it can transmit, a broadband line, which has bandwidth greater than 2 mbps, unlike a standard dial-up connection which will only have 56kbps, can allow for a variety of different frequencies and channels to travel down its wide pathway. This makes it optimal for those who play video games on the Internet or are involved in heavy graphics work that they need to import, send and receive along the information superhighway.
The minimum width of a broadband line has become a matter of debate. While initially, the broadband definition was a line that was greater than 2 mbps in width, other experts began asserting that it should be at least 3 mbps wide. Still others complain that at least 20 would be appropriate. But now, broadband services start as low as 1 mbps, for those who are trying out broadband for the first time. So who really knows what the minimum level of bandwidth is needed in order for it to be called broadband? One thing is certain though. DSL service which an range from 256 kbps capacity on the downstream and upstream side up to 1.5mbps, or even higher, is considered a broadband service as well. So are cable television modems, which have similar speeds. So, in reality anything with greater capacity than a narrow line, like a telephone line, which can only hold up to 64 kbps, is technically considered a broadband service.
Broadband services have become all the craze in the past few years. When the Internet started to become more mainstream in the 1990s people were content with simple dial-up Internet services, which used only narrow lines. But as the need for speed became important, especially as files and Web pages became more elaborate, requiring more computer storage space and memory, the need for larger bulks of information being able to be sent and received at a quicker pace became essential. Hence, we have the broadband revolution. Today, hardly anyone uses narrow band service, or dial-up. Broadband Internet access is the name of the game. And if you work in an office it is absolutely essential, as larger chunks of information are frequently sent to and from businesses on a regular basis. Simply put, if you donít have broadband today, you are probably a person who does not need the Internet for a living. With the number of telecommuting jobs available today, the need for broadband services is only likely to expand greatly.
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