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Broadband Internet Connections

written by: Indu Priya•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 12/19/2008

The necessity, usability and importance of Broadband Internet Connection is increasing all over the world. Let us now learn about Broadband Internet Connection and its features.

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    History of Broadband

    Broadband Internet Connectivity is not a technology. In fact it was first introduced beginning in 1988 in the form of digital subscriber line, or DSL as we know it today. The Internet engineers found a new way to transmit data using twisted cables which can run between the telephone office and the customers’ premises. An enabling technology was the Internet connection could be delivered using the telephone cables without interfering with the voice on the same line. This proved to be a turning point for broadband as it could make a cheap and best option for Internet connectivity. However it did take some time as the incumbent telephone carriers did not find providing Internet connections to be a profitable option. Only when the cable companies got involved in the Internet business in 1990 did broadband gain momentum as a technology. They also realized that from a consumer point of view a person would prefer uninterrupted data flow to the dial up option any day. However initially there were some glitches - like if the consumer was located at a distance more than 4 miles from the telephone office the data transmission rate fell considerably. This did put a dampening effect on the growth of broadband initially.

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    There are two kinds of broadband, the DSL and the Cable modems and both of them are capable of transmitting 256 kilobits per second and sometimes more than that. In simple terms it would mean that your downloads can be 10 times faster than the dial up connections.

    The most common kinds of broadband connections that can be found are DSL and the Cable modem. There are many variations.

    DSL: The Digital Subscriber Line can be set up between two nodes using a dedicated cable for data flow. The advantage with DSL is you can use the telephone line for voice and data at the same time. DSL transmits the data over the regular telephone line and is very easy to set up. All you need is a modem that changes analog data to digital data. Though dial up connections also receive the data from the telephone line, the DSL is a faster connection because the bandwidth allocated for it is much higher. For a dial up there is no separate bandwidth allocated, and the signal usually gets mixed with a general pool of users.

    ISDN: The Integrated Service Digital Network is one of the oldest broadband technologies. It uses a dedicated telephone line for data transfer, and actually the data transfer rates are much lower than with DSL.

    T-1 lines: The T1 lines are dedicated leased lines with dedicated bandwidth. There are more variations such as T-2 and T-3 depending on the bandwidth allotted. T-1 lines can be very expensive to set up and need extra equipment like routers and DNS servers at the client’s end. It is typically aimed at the commercial usage and is ideally suited for offices and businesses. Big networks of computers can be set up for Internet connectivity using T-1 lines.

    Cable Internet: It is one of the most common kinds of Internet found and uses the same cable that carries your cable connection. Usually you get the cable and Internet as a package deal. The cable Internet borrows the telephone lines of the local telephone company for most of the distance and for the last 1 mile it sets up its own cable along with the TV connectivity cable for providing Internet connectivity.

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    Features of Broadband

    The Broadband Internet Connections come with a set of favorable features for the end user which are unmatched by any other kind of basic Internet connection. An end user would always want a simple connection which provides easy access to the Internet and also at an affordable price. This is the biggest USP for the broadband connections and that is why it is the most common thing to find in many households replacing the Dial-ups.

    Here are some of the best features of the Broadband Internet Connections.

    • The end user gets high speed data transmission rates for downloads which can start from 256 kbps (kilo bits per second) and can go all the way up to 2 Mbps depending on the bandwidth available at that point of time.
    • The end user can use their telephone line and the Internet simultaneously.
    • The Internet access is not charged per call making it an affordable option.
    • The end user gets high value as return from a basic service.

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    The need for Internet is increasing worldwide with more people wanting to work from home, shop from home and even pay their utility bills online. Any other form of Internet would not suffice these needs except for the Broadband Internet Connections. Given its importance in our daily lives broadband is clearly the future of Internet connections.