The truth about Aust broadband technologies

Is broadband the technology you can't do without or an expense you don't need? We examine the alternatives, pitfalls, myths, and benefits.

Traditional 56K modems and ISDN just don't cut it any more. Compared with the speeds we're all used to over a LAN, these connections seem snail-paced. ISDN is also not what we'd call cheap, especially compared to some of the new broadband options available.

So what exactly is broadband? It depends who you ask. In general, "broadband" refers to telecommunication in which a wide band of frequencies is available to transmit information. Because a wide band of frequencies is available, information can be multiplexed and sent over many different frequencies or channels within the band concurrently. This allows more information to be transmitted in a given amount of time.

So far so good, but when you start trying to define how much throughput makes a connection broadband, that's when the fun begins.

There are various definitions of what actually constitutes broadband. They usually range from 256Kbps up to IBM's definition of a broadband channel being 6MHz wide (this is around 2000 times an average voice-grade line). Under this definition, ADSL and cable would be considered broadband--at least in the downstream direction. However, Telstra claims anything faster than 128Kbps is broadband, and as a consequence even its basic two-channel ISDN service sneaks into its realm.

News source: More Information @ ZDnet Australia

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