TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Tutorial: What is Broadband?

Tutorial: What is Broadband?

Lisa Minter (
Fri, 24 Jun 2005 13:05:26 -0500

A tutorial from Broadband Reports:

Broadband refers to telecommunication that provides
multiple channels of data over a single communications medium,
typically using some form of frequency or wave division multiplexing.

Broadband access is a vehicle that allows the delivery of an entirely
new breed of media services and communications-oriented
applications. In the long run, it is these new services and
applications that will differentiate broadband from dial-up Internet
access and give consumers a reason for subscribing to broadband. Audio
and video are the obvious cornerstones of this coming high-speed
revolution. Speedy connections coupled with always-on access will
improve the consumer multimedia experience and change the types of
business models that are viable in the interactive marketplace. As use
of broadband grows to more than 20 million subscribers by 2004,
traditional media companies may uncover opportunities for growth and
acquisition in these alternative content categories enabled by the
high-speed Internet. Broadband will not replace traditional media
formats as they exist today. But it will emerge as a new source of
fragmentation, siphoning off enough listeners and viewers to affect
established media entities and their long-term growth.

Federal Full broadband lines are lines with information carrying
capability in excess of 200 Kbps in both directions, simultaneously.
One-way broadband lines are lines with information carrying capacity
in excess of 200 Kbps in one direction (typically downstream) and less
than or equal to 200 Kbps in the other direction (typically upstream).

Broadband Access for Consumers is either through DSL (Digital
Subscriber Lines) or via cable modem. See attached FCC Document

DSL is a technology for bringing high-speed and high-bandwidth, which
is directly proportional to the amount of data transmitted or received
per unit time, information to homes and small businesses over ordinary
copper telephone lines already installed in hundreds of millions of
homes and businesses worldwide. With DSL, consumers and businesses
take advantage of having a dedicated, always-on connection to the

There are currently at least six different types of DSL. They are
Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL), Symmetric Digital
Subscriber Line (SDSL), ISDN Digital Subscriber Line (IDSL),
High-bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line (HDSL), Very high-bit-rate
Digital Subscriber Line (VDSL), and Rate-Adaptive Digital Subscriber
Line (RADSL). Each one has different technical ranges, capabilities,
and limitations.

Cable modems (CM) are designed to operate over cable TV lines to
provide high-speed access to the Web or corporate Intranets. A power
splitter and a new cable are usually required. The splitter divides
the signal for the "old" installations and the new segment that
connects the cable modem. No television sets are accepted on the new
string that goes to the cable modem.

There are three types of CM: external modem, internal modem, and
interactive set-top cable box. A number of different cable modem
configurations are possible. Over time more systems will arrive.

Cable modem services offer shared bandwidth between your and your
neighbors. Your speed will vary with how many people are on the cable
modem network, which may be a disadvantage. With DSL service, you have
a dedicated connection to your home.

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