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Broadband and Connection Speeds
Broadband is the term often used to refer to any type of fast Internet access.
Broadband is designed to give a user instant and fast access to the Internet, 24
hours a day. There are many benefits to having broadband access:
Broadband speeds are measured in kilobits per second (thousands of bits per second) or megabits per second (million of bits per second). Internet connections have upstream bandwidth - the rate at which data can be sent from a computer to the Internet - and downstream bandwidth - the rate at which data can be received by a computer from the Internet.
Different types of Internet connections are rated for different speeds. For example, many people today still connect to the Internet via a dial-up modem over standard phone lines. Speeds for a dial-up modem are, maximum, 53 Kb/second for downstream and 33.6 Kb/seconds for upstream.
Broadband-type Internet connections such as Cable or DSL have speeds that range
from 256 Kb/second to 10 Mb/second, depending on the service selected. Widely
available residential broadband services today are usually within the following
|Downstream||256 Kb/second to 4 Mb/second|
|Upstream||128 Kb/second to 768 Kb/second|
To give you an idea of the difference this speed can make, a 3½ minute MP3 music file takes about 18 minutes to download using a 28.8 Kb/s dial-up modem but only about 20 seconds on a 1.5 Mb/s broadband connection. An email containing a family photo takes about 55 seconds at 28.8 Kb/s but only about 3 seconds on a 512 Kb/s connection.