The meaning of the term “Broadband” is contextual. It refers to the information carrying capacity. If the broadband is wide, it increases the information carrying capacity. In a Radio, a very narrow broadband can carry only the Morse code, a slightly broader band carries speech. Music with all its audio frequencies intact requires a broadband with more width. A TV antenna with normal broadband will carry some channels. A broadband with more capacity will carry more. In data communication, a modem can transmit a bandwidth of 56 kilo bits per second over a telephone line. A bandwidth of several megabits can be handled by ADSL.This is known as Broadband.
Data communications when handled by a fibre optic cable can be described as Broadband. The term is, however used in a technical sense. Sometimes multiple pieces of data are sent simultaneously to increase the effective transmission rate. This is also called as Broadband Internet. In video, the term refers to video files that possess bitrates high enough require the Broadband Internet to view them. Its speed is defined in terms of maximum download. The ADSL technology is also “asymmetric” because it supports slower maximum uploads. The reach of Broadband today, is considered as an economic indicator of an area’s connectivity.
The technology employed in many areas is the DSL and cable modems. Broadband has been made easily accessible. Fibre optics has played a crucial role in this by making transmission more cost effective than the traditional copper wire technology. In areas not served by ADSL, local governments have stepped in and installed Wi-Fi networks. WIMAX is the latest technology being deployed for mobile and stationary Broadband access. There are also Multi-Linking Modems which double up the dial-up capacity. Two modems, two telephone lines and two dial-up accounts are needed. ISP support is needed for multi-linking.
ISDN: This is the Integrated Service Digital Network. It is the oldest high-speed method of digital access for consumers and businessmen to connect to the Internet. It was used extensively in the USA before DSC and cable modem technology. Using ISDN terminal adapters, it is possible to bond together two or more separate ISDN-BRI lines to reach speeds of 256kbits/second.Faster and cheaper alternatives are beginning to replace ISDN offerings.
Wired Ethernet: This method of broadband communication to the internet makes access to the later very fast. It would be wrong to imagine that the full 10,000 or 1000 megabits/second can be utilized. This speed would be available at a POP or a data centre, and not to a residence. Ethernet has a low latency. No special software is necessary.
Providing broadband access to farmers and ranchers in rural and far-flung areas is the next challenge. If this can be accomplished, connectivity will improve greatly. Making rural broadband cost effective is only a matter of time.
Satellite Internet: This makes use of a satellite in geo-stationary orbit to relay data from the satellite to the customer. This has proved to be expensive. It has a high latency problem as signals take a longer time to travel. Sun spot activity, inclement weather and travel increase the drop outs.
Cellular Broadband: Cellular phone towers are widespread and can provide broadband access to the internet with the help of a cell-phone, card bus, Express card or the US.
Pricing: At present, internet service providers have a flat rate determined by the maximum bitrate chosen by the customer. This may have to be revised as the demand for bandwidth increases. However, there are Bandwidth Calculators in online broadband provider websites that assists to plan and monitor your bandwidth usage.
Technological advances may circumvent these problems in the future and make broadband more accessible and affordable. Its has become indispensable in the economic activity of a country. Its presence is an important tool to gauge a country’s capability to be connected, with it and with others outside. Broadband is not an option, it is the only choice.