These days, "broadband" is a word that is thrownaround easily in telecommunications and internet lingo, but the averageconsumer may not have a clear understanding of how broadband works.It's easy to understand why; the technology industry even has troubledefining it clearly. So how does broadband work? The online Webster'sdictionary defines broadband as "A class of communication channelcapable of supporting a wide range of frequencies, typically from audioup to video frequencies. A broadband channel can carry multiple signalsby dividing the total capacity into multiple, independent bandwidthchannels, where each channel operates only on a specific range offrequencies." Let's take a look at each part of the definition tounderstand how broadband works.
How Does Broadband Work
The first part of answering thequestion 'how does broadband work' is to think about the phrase a"class of communication channel." We can gather from this that it isdifferent from the normal class of communication channel that we use -our regular phone lines. Phone lines, also called baseband lines,normally carry 29.6kbps of analog data when used for voicecommunications. But with the advent of the internet, people began todemand faster data transmission. A regular, baseband phone line cancarry up to 56kbps of data with the help of a high-speed modem, butwithout additional technology, that is its maximum capacity.
Thatwasn't nearly fast enough to keep up with the average person's demandfor and dependency on the internet, which led to the demand forbroadband. So how does broadband work? If you think of a baseband lineas having one "channel" to send information, you can think of abroadband line as having multiple channels that you use at the sametime. Not only that, but a broadband connection is capable of carryinga wider range and type of frequencies, meaning different types of data.And what it can carry, it carries faster. When you drive on theinterstate, what happens when there aren't enough lanes for the numberof cars on the road? Everyone is forced to go slower.
The samehappens with the internet. Think of your connection to the internet asa tunnel that links your computer to the internet. A regular phone linecan allow only a small amount of data to pass through at a time. Incomparison, a broadband is a wider (or broader) tunnel, allowing agreater amount of information to pass through your connection at onetime. The breadth of this tunnel is called "bandwidth." The morebandwidth you have, the faster you can move data. With broadbandservice, you can also download files that require a great deal ofdifferent types of frequencies as well, such as audio and video files.
Thisis a partial answer to the question 'how does broadband work,' but theother has to do with the way that broadband services can compress andtransmit that data that you're sending. Go back to the cars on theinterstate analogy. What if suddenly all of the cars could beminiaturized? What would that do to the traffic jam? Or if they coulduse all of the space available in the tunnel - above your head, betweencars, etc. Broadband technology not only widens the channels you have,but it uses them more efficiently. Meaning you can get more out of thebandwidth that you have. Broadband makes your internet experiencefaster and more efficient overall.