The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defines broadband as ‘high-speed Internet access that is always on and faster than the traditional dial-up access.’ There is no need to disconnect or reconnect to the network, and it does not block phone lines during usage.
Broadband differs from dial-up service in a number of ways. Firstly, it provides a higher-speed of data transmission. Think of information flow very similar to drinking a thick substance through a straw. The larger the straw, the easier and quicker the substance can flow to the consumer. Broadband is much the same for information. The ‘pipeline,’ or straw, if you will, is much broader and can transmit information in a much more efficient and rapid manner than a dial-up connection. A broader bandwidth: broadband.
Broadband also provides higher quality of Internet services. It allows streaming media; voice phone service over the Internet (known as Voice over IP or VoIP), interactive services and gaming. These and many more services require the transfer of large amounts of data that may not be technically possible with dial-up service. As more advanced applications are developed, it will be increasingly important to have a pipeline that can accommodate transmission.
Information being transmitted over dial-up connections can experience delays. Broadband allows freer flow of information and fewer delays, both from the user to the Internet (known as upstream) and from the Internet to the user (known as downstream).
Read more about speed tiers as defined by the FCC and the capabilities of various speeds in today’s market.