The definition of broadband

How do you define broadband? Like many people, I think of broadband Internet as high-speed Internet. But, after reading my blog from yesterday about Oman’s Internet solution, some kind folks forwarded me the definition of broadband. Fair enough.

Source Wiki

Broadband in telecommunications refers to a signaling method that includes or handles a relatively wide range (or band) of frequencies, which may be divided into channels or frequency bins. Broadband is always a relative term, understood according to its context. The wider the bandwidth, the greater the information-carrying capacity. In radio, for example, a very narrow-band signal will carry Morse code; a broader band will carry speech; a still broader band is required to carry music without losing the high audio frequencies required for realistic sound reproduction. A television antenna described as “broadband” may be capable of receiving a wide range of channels; while a single-frequency or Lo-VHF antenna is “narrowband” since it only receives 1 to 5 channels. In data communications a digital modem will transmit a datarate of 56 kilobits per seconds (kbit/s) over a 4 kilohertz wide telephone line (narrowband). However when that same line is converted to a standard twisted-pair wire (no telephone filters), it becomes hundreds of kilohertz wide (broadband) and can carry several megabits per second (ADSL).

Broadband in data can refer to broadband networks or broadband Internet and may have the same meaning as above, so that data transmission over a fiber optic cable would be referred to as broadband as compared to a telephone modem operating at 56,000 bits per second. However, a worldwide standard for what level of bandwidth and network speeds actually constitute Broadband have not been determined.[1]

However, broadband in data communications is frequently used in a more technical sense to refer to data transmission where multiple pieces of data are sent simultaneously to increase the effective rate of transmission, regardless of data signaling rate. In network engineering this term is used for methods where two or more signals share a medium.[2] Broadband Internet access, often shortened to just broadband, is a high data rate Internet access–typically contrasted with dial-up access using a 56k modem.

Dial-up modems are limited to a bitrate of less than 56 kbit/s (kilobits per second) and require the full use of a telephone line–whereas broadband technologies supply more than double this rate and generally without disrupting telephone use.

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5 Responses to The definition of broadband

  1. Mushroom March 3, 2010 at 8:38 am #


    I read the blog yesterday and it seemed to me, as a neutral yet avid reader, that you seemed on a personal crusade to slap the joy out of poor little OmanAirs announcement.

    I loved this line: “SBB does not support broadband Internet”!!!

    I thought the clue was in the name!

    What happened!? Did L-Band spit in your Ku cornflakes!?

  2. Mary Kirby March 3, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    Oh gosh, I never intended to slap the joy out of anything, especially Oman Air, which I admire and respect. I like to eat my cornflakes with lots of sugar, thus my follow-up blog today. Have I told you my Mary Poppins theory yet? I will do that someday soon, oh completely neutral mushroom.

  3. Jerrell Inkavesvanitc April 3, 2010 at 8:05 pm #

    What is wrong with some mobile broad bands these days especially the laptop ones? They are taking forever to download a single item and yet they consume money so fast!! This should not happen especially these days when internet is so cheap and there is an option of going to a cyber rather than using these mobile broadband!

  4. Jeremiah Masterson April 3, 2010 at 8:20 pm #

    While mobile broadband initially relied on laptops as the end point, the technology has improved and you can connect it to a smart phone. They are more portable and make the experience of using mobile broadband more fulfilling than using laptops.

  5. seo reviews September 23, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    Business Secretary Vince Cable’s recent speech disturbed a lot of people, but are they justified in their concern? What difference do speeches make; at the end of the day, it’s actions that count and we don’t see much actual action from Mr Cable.

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