A Close Look at Broadband Technology

Broadband used to be the cutting edge, final frontier of home and business internet access, but over the past five years or so broadband has gone from being accessible only to the wealthiest homes and clients to something which is cheap or sometimes free when bundled with other telecommunications packages. With increasing speeds and new technology constantly improving the application of broadband around the home, it can be a confusing and jargon-filled world, but hopefully this guide will help you to understand some of the more widely used terms and where broadband is headed in the future.

Wireless & Mobile Broadband

The United States is ranked first in the world for the availability of, and the resultant prosperity afforded by, its communication networks, and wireless broadband at home or in public `hot-spots` has allowed businesses and customers to access the Internet access anywhere within range of a wireless router. Most providers offer a wireless router free when you commit to their contract.

Mobile broadband is the latest technology that most telecommunications companies are pushing at the moment. Thanks to the ubiquitous roll out of 3G (“3rd Generation”) networks truly mobile broadband is now available, depending, of course, on adequate coverage. This technology is made possible through a `USB modem, or “dongle”, which connects to a 3G network in the same way as mobile devices.

Broadband Markets & Providers

Verizon – which ranked 4th in the list of ISPs in the United States in the second quarter of 2008, with just over 8 million subscribers – offers the smallest mobile broadband dongle, with a $50 discount, if purchased online. The dongle is compatible with BroadBandAccess and NationalAccess, the two most common connection options for increased coverage and connectivity, offering download speeds of up to 1.4 MBps. The dongle, itself, also doubles up as a 4GB pen drive for data storage.

The broadband market in the United States, as a whole, however, has suffered from disparate technologies – EV-DO networks, from the likes of Verizon, and Sprint Nextel, LTE, or “Long Term Evolution”, from AT&T, etc. – and uneven deployment of so-called “last mile” broadband infrastructure. This is by no means limited to rural areas, with limited availability also a problem in suburban and urban areas.

Broadband provision in the United Kingdom, on the other hand, has become more difficult, primarily due to competition in the marketplace; this is good news for consumers, however, with competitive offerings from the five main providers – 3, O2, Orange, Vodaphone and T-Mobile – and many others besides. 3, for example, offers a low cost, “Broadband Lite”, mobile broadband package for just £10 per month, while O2 offers a choice of “free” 16Mb home broadband, and a free dongle, if you sign up to its mobile broadband package for 18 months, or a one-month rolling contract, where you pay for the dongle. It is worth checking the customer service record of whichever provider you choose, as if you encounter any problems, you don`t want to be left stranded by broadband providers who have cut corners.

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4 thoughts on “A Close Look at Broadband Technology”

  1. Normally I would say DSL. Even from the Cell Phone- DSL is usually 728k whereas Satellite is usually 200-460k (not guaranteed).

    There’s a Huge Price difference as well. Hughes requires a seperate satellite installation that must be installed perfectly.
    Cost is Approximateley $600.00 minimum, Unless
    they offer a huge discount!

    But, I may be wrong.

  2. I know something about the infrastructure of broadband since I did tech support for SBC now ATT for years and in the beginning it was by availability in areas that had enough copper in the lines and distenance in order to get high speed internet. Now days with wireless on the market and don’t forget Blue tooth which will allow you to use your cell phone for internet connection where wi fi is not available. The US is second to none when it comes to wireless and fiber optics. It took a great deal of effort and extream knowledge of computers and how to get them connected to high speed internet. I am one of those extream technicians that helped make the difference on how we connect to the internet today. This was a team effort from 1st 2nd and 3rd tier support has given to have the best and latest technology which I am proud to be a part of.

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