How Broadband Works

A broadband connection is a type of internet connection that is "always on." This means that broadband technology is always connected and does not block traditional telephone lines. Broadband service costs are usually higher than dial-up connections, but it's worth the speed and reliability cost. Broadband has rapidly replaced the traditional dial-up internet connection due to various factors such as speed, reliability, and availability.

There are four broadband connections, namely DSL (Digital Subscriber Line), Fiber-Optic, Cable, and Satellite. There are several factors to be considered before choosing the most suitable broadband connection. These include the location, price, availability, and how broadband services are bundled with other services like TV and telephones.

Real-World Examples of Broadband

It is impossible to operate a business without the use of broadband internet connections. Broadband has changed the way we function in our world; for example, it has:

  • Improved Healthcare: A robust broadband network allows real-time collaboration of medical professionals from all over the world. High data transmission speeds have ensured that doctors can now share medical images and patient reports in real-time.
  • Enhanced Education: High-speed broadband allows students and teachers to connect from anywhere in the world. Students now have access to world-class educational resources at their doorstep.
  • Revamped Public Services: A highly efficient broadband network can make government services more efficient. Government workers can deploy Internet services in public health and safety resources to ensure reliability and management.

Types of Broadband

Cable broadband: The local cable TV service provider provides these connections by incorporating broadband into the same coaxial cables responsible for delivering pictures and sound to the TV set.

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL): It is a wireline transmission technology that uses unused telephone wires owned by the telephone company. This ensures minimal interruptions to normal telephone services. The speed of a DSL service heavily depends on the distance to the nearest switching station. Internet speeds will be more if the user is closer to the telephone service station.

There are two types of DSL transmission technologies:

  • Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL): This type of DSL technology provides faster speeds in the downstream direction than the upstream direction. ADSL provides robust internet services without disrupting regular telephone lines. It is used by residential customers who receive a lot of data but do not send much.
  • Symmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (SDSL): This type of DSL technology provides significant bandwidth for upstream and downstream data transmission. It is generally used by businesses that use services such as video conferencing etc.

Fiber-Optic: It is the newest and the fastest broadband service currently available. The average speeds of a fiber optic connection exceed DSL and Cable based broadbands by over 10-100Mbps. This form of broadband is still in its early stages and might not be readily available everywhere. This technology works on a network of fiber optic cables where data travels literally at the speed of light, thereby providing unparalleled download speeds.

Satellite: Broadband services use satellites. This can be a great option in rural places where fiber optics and cable-based connections are not readily accessible. Although it is a better replacement for traditional dial-ups, the installation costs can be quite high. Satellite services can also be quite unreliable in places with extreme weather conditions.