Compiled by Elizabeth Ndhlovu-Dumbreni
BROADBAND is high speed internet service providing high rate of data transmission.
Dial up modems are generally capable of providing a maximum 56 kbps connection speed and require the full use of a telephone line. With Dial up it is difficult to download large file or open e-mail attachments. In contrast, broadband internet makes it easy to view video files, download large files and play online games. Advantages of broadband internet service
Always on connection — With broadband, your computer is always hooked to the internet. You do not need to “dial up” every time you want to use the internet.
Broadband does not tie up your phone line — Broadband does not tie up your phone line, so you can make and receive calls while using the Internet.
Speed of downloads — With broadband, you can download large files and email attachments. You can easily stream music and video files.
Types of broadband internet
There are different types of broadband internet connections available, some are faster than others and some are more expensive than others to use. Depending on your needs, budget and availability will usually determine which type of broadband internet connection is right for you. Broadband generally comes in following varieties:
DSL broadband internet
DSL broadband internet is technology that provides high-speed broadband internet connection. DSL uses existing copper pair phone line wiring in conjunction with special hardware on the switch and user ends of the line. This special hardware allows for a continuous digital connection over the phone lines.
DSL internet allow users to receive data at 1,5 Mbps and send data at approximately 256 Kbps, though actual speed is determined by the proximity to the provider’s central office.
DSL service is always on – users do not need to dial a connection to gain access to the internet — and some services even allow users to use the same line for voice and data traffic.
AT&T, Verizon, Qwest, CenturyLink are the most popular DSL broadband internet providers, globally.
Cable broadband internet
Cable broadband internet is a high speed broadband internet access over the TV cable network. Cable operators provide broadband using the same coaxial cables that deliver pictures and sound to your TV set. They provide transmission speeds of 1,5 Mbps or more.
The actual bandwidth for internet service over a cable TV line is up to 27 Mbps on the download path to the subscriber with about 2,5 Mbps of bandwidth for interactive responses in the other direction. However, since the local provider may not be connected to the Internet on a line faster than a T-carrier system at 1,5 Mpbs, a more likely data rate will be close to 1,5 Mpbs.
Subscribers can access their cable modem service simply by turning on their computers without dialing-up an ISP. You can still watch cable TV while using it. Transmission speeds vary depending on the type of cable modem, cable network, and traffic load. Speeds are comparable to DSL.
Comcast, Time-Warner, Charter are the most popular cable broadband internet providers globally.
Wireless broadband internet
Wireless broadband internet is a high speed broadband internet access using a radio link between the customer’s location and the service provider’s facility. Wireless broadband can be mobile or fixed. High-speed wireless connections are now readily available on laptops, cell phones, and other mobile computing devices.
Wireless technologies using longer-range directional equipment provide broadband service in remote or sparsely populated areas where DSL or cable modem service would be costly to provide. Speeds are generally comparable to DSL and cable modem. An external antenna is usually required.
Cricket Wireless and Clear Wireless are the most popular wireless broadband internet providers, globally.
Satellite Broadband Internet
Satellite Broadband Internet is a more expensive broadband internet connection than others.
Satellite Internet Service is used in locations where terrestrial internet access is not available.
Satellite Internet uses a satellite dish for two-way data communications.
Satellite internet is much faster than DSL or cable internet. Satellite internet does not require huge cabling or telephone connection to access the internet. The speed of the internet is also constant as satellite internet uses two-way high-speed internet.
Hughes Net and Wild Blue are the most popular satellite broadband internet providers, globally.