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ADSL & Broadband FAQ

Below you will find answers to some common broadband related questions:

What is Broadband?
In the context of this website Broadband is a generic term that refers to any type of high speed internet access. We have defined broadband as having a data rate (download speed) of over 200kbps.
ADSL and cable TV are examples of broadband. Benefits of broadband include: fast internet access, real time streaming of video and audio, video conferencing, voice over IP (VOIP) and much more.

What is DSL?
Digital Subscriber Line or DSL allows the transmission of high speed digital data over ordinary copper telephone lines without affecting the analogue telephone service. It has become very popular because it uses the infrastructure of the existing plain old telephone service (POTS) and is available in most areas. Through the use of advanced digital signal processing and creative algorithms DSL technology is able to achieve high data rates by squeezing large amounts of information on the unused frequencies of existing phone lines.
There are many different variants of DSL including ADSL, XDSL.

What is ADSL?
ADSL stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line and is the most common form of DSL. Asymmetric refers to the nature of an ADSL connection where the download bandwidth is larger than the upload bandwidth. This is suited for internet usage as the average user downloads substantially more data than they upload. ADSL supports up to 8 Mbps bandwidth for downloading and up to 1 Mbps for uploading.

What is Cable Internet?
Cable internet uses the cable/pay TV network to bring high speed data to your PC. The coaxial cable and fibre optics used for cable television is much higher quality than the copper used for telephones and therefore much higher data rates are achieved compared to ADSL. Internet data and television data (ie Foxtel) are transmitted simultaneously on the same cable but at different frequencies. Speeds in excess of 1.5Mbps are standard.

What is Wireless Broadband?
There are two main types of wireless broadband:
-One uses microwaves to transmit a digital signal. This requires the user to have a receiver and transmitter installed on their house and a line of site from their house receiver to the base station transmitter.
-Another type of wireless broadband uses mobile phone networks to enable users to have very fast access to the internet while they are mobile. This technology is very expensive at the moment and availability is restricted to metropolitan areas but it is definitely the way of the future.

What is Satellite Broadband?
If DSL or cable are not available in your area then satellite broadband may be viable alternative. Satellite systems can be one way or two way. In a two way system both downloads and uploads are transmitted and received via the satellite dish. In a one way system downloads are received via the dish and uploads are sent via a standard modem on a phone line. Satellite data speeds can exceed 500bps, but it is much more expensive than ADSL or cable.
One of the drawbacks of satellite transmissions is that there can be delays due to the physical distance the signals are travelling. This would be most noticeable when playing online games.