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Guide to Broadband
What is Broadband and what are its benefits?
Broadband is the method of sending data at high speeds over an internet connection. Popular broadband connection mechanisms are called ADSL and cable. There are also options such as Megapath business ethernet which are much faster than your traditional broadband connections. ADSL and cable connections are much faster than connections over a standard phone line, which allows you to surf more quickly and download large files faster. Broadband connections are currently between about 10 and 80 times as fast as a dial up connection.
The fastest theoretical speed from a dialup connection is 56.6 kbps (kilo bits per second) - the slowest of the current broadband connections is about 512 kbps with some providers offering speeds of up to 8 Mbps (mega bits per second - 1 Mbps = 1000 kbps). It should be noted that the theoretical maximum speeds will only be achieved by those who live close to a broadband enabled telephone exchange.
A broadband connection is always on - you do not need to dial up and you can use your phone line whilst connected.
You are charged a flat rate fee for your connection. However, if you are a heavy downloader you should pay attention to any download limit imposed by the ISP (Internet Service Provider). Some ISP's offer uncapped connections, which mean you can download as much as you want to. If you are a heavy downloader you will be more satisfied by an uncapped connection.
Are there different types of broadband connection?
The two main options are ADSL - Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line and Cable.
ADSL is the technology which was developed to enable high speed connections over the existing copper wire phone lines. In order to receive this, you will need to be connected to a broadband enabled telephone exchange, have your telephone connection point modified and get an ADSL modem.
Some areas are cabled for television and telephone services. In these areas you may also be able to get a cable internet connection, and you will need to get a cable modem.
There are two other less common options available, which are:
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