The term broadband commonly refers to high-speed Internet access that is always on and faster than the traditional dial-up access. Broadband includes several high-speed transmission technologies such as: Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) and High-Speed Internet access (HFI)
In fact, both of these technologies work well at speeds of up to 1Gbit/s, but DSL can also be used for much higher speeds.
So broadband is not a form of broadband. It’s a type of Internet connection that uses smaller bits per second than your average modem and can be used for very low speeds. Using the term broadband simply conflates them into one big category, which inevitably leads people to think the whole thing is one big thing when it isn’t.
What is broadband?
Broadband is the term we use to refer to high-speed Internet access that is always on and faster than the old dial-up access.
The difference between broadband and dial-up is that dial-up was dialed into a telephone network, whereas broadband is not. The two are essentially competing technologies for accessing the Internet. Dial-up has been replaced by DSL (digital subscriber line) technology, which essentially allows you to conнtantily connect to a DSL service provider using your own modem, and then download from their servers using their equipment. You can use a DSL connection for many of the same applications as dial-up, or for applications that were not possible before, such as streaming video, downloading large files, video conferencing and VoIP phones.
Broadband is generally defined as a high speed connection with any of several different technologies: cable services (Cablevision Systems Inc., Verizon Fios), satellite services (Time Warner Cable Inc.), fiber optics (AT&T) or wireless services (Verizon Wireless). Only one type of broadband connection is typically called “broadband”: cable providers offer what are called “broadband” connections; satellite providers offer connections that are fast enough for high definition television; and wireless providers offer connections that are fast enough for cell phones.
What are the different types of broadband?
In short, broadband is any technology that provides high-speed Internet access to a home, office building or other location. Broadband is also known as High Speed Internet (HFI). It is usually provided by one of the three main types of broadband service provider:
The most common types of broadband are DSL – which allows for download speeds of about 6-12 Mbps and upload speeds of about 1-5 Mbps.
DSL2 – which offers download speeds up to around 8 Mbps and upload speeds up to around 2 Mbps.
DSL3 – which offers download speeds between 8/8Mbps and 12/12Mbps (up to 15 Mbps).
These are the common speed tiers in the United States, with the fastest being DSL2 and the slowest being DSL3. In Europe, the speed tiers are slightly different; there is no “DSL” category in Europe, but instead there are three “broadband” categories: ADSL (4Mbps), ADSL2+ (6Mbps), and ADSL2+ Ultra (15Mbps). All three of these categories offer download speeds over a standard telephone line. However, remember that every country has different regulations regarding mandatory phone service providers and you must be careful when making comparisons between countries.
If you have high speed Internet access at home or work then you are using dial-up broadband today! Dial-Up Internet was a type of communication technology first introduced in 1969 that allowed users to send and receive electronic mail through a leased circuit board or modulator-demodulator (MODEM) attached directly to the telephone wires via an analog telephone line. It was very slow compared to modern technologies such as Ethernet, WiFi, etc., but it did extend current telecommunication networks such as AT&T’s UUNET and Bell Atlantic’s QUBE network into new areas. Dial-Up Internet was often referred to as modem Fax because it did not take advantage of digital fax technology like modem faxes do today; it used analog modems for sending data over wires instead. Dial Up Internet lasted until 1990 when DSL became generally available on telecommunications lines throughout North America due to its ability to provide more bandwidth than dial up services could handle at lower cost. As a result, internet access became widely available over conventional telephone lines throughout North America starting in 1996 with DSL offering high download speed on copper wire lines with higher cost per megabyte than dial up services offered over fiber optic cable lines
What is dial-up?
Dial-up is a form of high-speed transmission that was invented in the early days of telephone exchange services. It was used to transmit telephone calls. It is not high-speed Internet access and it has no way to support video or voice.
It does form part of broadband technology but it is not broadband itself. Dial-up also refers to a specific technology, and uses different terminology such as V.32 . Dial-up modems are specific types of modems that were used in networked computers.
However, this blog post will only focus on DSL Internet connections, which is what most people today refer to when they say “broadband connection” (and indeed may still use some other definitions).
The term “broadband Internet connection” may be misleading because there are many different types of broadband connection. For example, there are many different types of dial-up connections (which simply use the same technology), or cable modem connections (which can have their own set of features). There are also wireless connections that do not use the same kind of technology as a dial-up connection (for example WiMAX ).
So DSL and modems are not the same thing, but broadband is broadly defined so I will just stick with it for this post.
Why is dial-up not a type of broadband?
Dial-up access is a technology that is commonly used for online communication. But dial-up has several different meanings, and the term dial-up refers to many different technologies. Two of the most common technologies are:
(1) the wire transfer or modem, which simulates a phone line connection; and (2) “dial-up modems” which usually require users to take a telephone call to connect to the Internet.
(1) The modem can be used as a standalone device, like a telephone, or it can also be connected to a computer through an Ethernet cable, like a network adapter. If you use your modem as such, then you are using it as a phone line connection.
(2) Dial-up modems are usually connected to the Internet using either cable (which uses fiber optic cables) or DSL (which uses coaxial cables), which means that you will have an internal connection from your modem and an external one from your router. If you use your modem internally in this way, then you are using it as an Ethernet adapter (this is true for some DSL modems). If you use your modem externally in this way for internet access, then you’re using it as an Ethernet device.
If you want more information on what kinds of broadband connections there are and how they work — including high speed dial-up — check out our other post on this topic: What Is Broadband?
We’ll talk more about the future of broadband technology in our next post. In this post, we finally wrap up the discussion of which technology is not a form of broadband.
No, it isn’t fast enough to provide internet access in a reasonable time frame, but it is fair to say that no one alive today has ever used dial-up internet before today. It’s funny how many people think that internet is just fast enough to provide access to websites. In fact, internet is not only faster than dial-up access, but it is also faster than some other types of broadband access:
1. Ethernet (the most common type of wired broadband)
2. Fibre Optic (a special type of fibre optic cable)
3. Power over Ethernet (a very common type of high speed broadband)
4. Satellite (although satellite connections are not available everywhere, they could be a decent option for some users)
5. Wireless Access Points (although wireless connections are more rare than power over Ethernet connections)