Definition

broadband

Also see bandwidth.

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 on many different frequencies or channels within the band concurrently, allowing more information to be transmitted in a given amount of time (much as more lanes on a highway allow more cars to travel on it at the same time). 

It is generally agreed that Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) and cable TV are broadband services in the downstream direction. As of February, 2015, the United States Federal Communications Commission's (FCC's)  benchmark for broadband data transfer rates is 25 megabits-per-second for downloads and 3 Mbps for uploads.

Related terms are wideband (a synonym), baseband (a one-channel band), and narrowband (sometimes meaning just wide enough to carry voice, or simply "not broadband").

 

 

This was last updated in July 2007

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