Types of Broadband

Installing fibre optic broadband at B4RN

Installing fibre optic broadband at B4RN

"If it comes down a telephone line, it isn't fibre optic broadband"

Chris Condor MBE, B4RN

 

DSL Broadband

  • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) is a technology that delivers broadband over your phone line to be used in the home or office.
  • With DSL technology, large volumes of information are sent over a copper cable at rapid speeds.
  • DSL allows you to download web pages, text, graphics, music and video in real time.

ADSL Broadband

  • Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) is a technology similar to the DSL technology.
  • With ADSL, information is downloaded more rapidly than it is uploaded.
  • ADSL is particularly useful for homes and businesses as it can download web pages and files at fast speeds.
  • ADSL2 and ADSL2+ are new technologies offered by some providers offering speed up to 24Mbps. One provider offering this service is Be.

Symmetric Broadband (SDSL)

  • Symmetric broadband (SDSL) is a technology similar to ADSL broadband.
  • SDSL broadband downloads information at the same speed as it uploads information. Whereas ADSL broadband downloads the information faster than it uploads it.
  • This type of broadband requires an extra telephone line.
  • SDSL broadband is particularly suitable for businesses that send large volumes of information.

Local Loop Unbundling

  • Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) is where ADSL or SDSL broadband technologies are provided without using the British Telecom’s exchange system.
  • This means that LLU providers can offer broadband features at a competitive price.
  • LLU is only available in certain parts of UK. Providers include Bulldog and Be.

Cable Broadband

  • There are several ways in which broadband can be delivered to your PC, this type of broadband is delivered through a cable.
  • Cable companies also offer television and telephone packages as well as broadband Internet services.
  • Cable companies provide broadband, television or phone packages to about 45% of homes and businesses in the UK.
  • You can only get cable broadband if a company has cabled your street.
  • Cable providers include ntl.

Satellite Broadband

  • There are several ways in which broadband can be delivered to your PC,PC; this type of broadband is delivered through a satellite.
  • To receive satellite broadband you must have a dish antenna, and can be used almost everywhere in the UK.
  • There are 2 types of satellite services:
  • One-way satellite services download information via satellite and upload information via a telephone or IDSN line.
  • Two-way satellite services download and upload information via satellite. This provides an even higher bandwidth and a faster speed.
  • Satellite transmission may be affected by weather conditions.
  • The cost of installing and running satellite broadband can be quite expensive compared with other types of broadband.
  • Satellite broadband generally has quite high latency (ping times) compared to other broadband, and so is unsuitable for certain types of Internet Access such as online gaming.

Wireless Broadband

  • Wireless broadband is one of the ways in which broadband can be delivered to your PC.
  • This type of broadband requires an antenna to be installed to get connection to the Internet.
  • Wireless broadband is particularly suitable for distributing information between buildings and for homes where access to ADSL or cable broadband is unavailable.

Mobile Broadband

  • Mobile broadband is a newer addition to the broadband market, only arriving in recent years following the sale of spectrum to mobile network companies.
  • Mobile broadband users receive a broadband connection over the mobile phone networks via 3G and 4G technologies, removing the requirement for a fixed broadband connection or a phone line.

Fibre Optic Broadband

Unlike the majority of broadband connections in the UK, which use telephone lines or mobile networks, fibre-optic broadband is transferred along special cables under the ground. The signals move a lot faster than they do along copper cables and offer speeds of up to 300Mbps +. A good example of a wholly fibre optic broadband network is the B4RN project.