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Understanding Broadband Internet Connections

What is Broadband?  "Broadband" is generally used to describe Internet connections faster than 56K (max speed for normal modems).  A few types of broadband connections include T1, Frame Relay, ISDN, DSL, wireless, cable, and satellite.  These types of connections, which were previously found primarily in business, government and education, are now increasingly found in homes.  Though more costly than a standard dial-in (modem) services, prices for broadband connections have fallen significantly. 

Below, you'll find more information on DSL and Wireless broadband connections, which I-Land frequently provides to home and small to medium-sized business users:


DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) - DSL connections use standard copper phone lines.  DSL, however, offers much higher speed possibilities: minimum "connect speeds" are usually at least 384kbps, and often much higher.  A DSL "modem" connects the DSL line to your computer - generally through an Ethernet port.  If you have a network, you may connect to your DSL circuit via a DSL router, attached directly to your Ethernet network, or an inexpensive "DSL router" like the SMC Barricade.  Once a regular phone line has been certified and converted to a DSL line, you must install filters on your "normal" phone equipment (phones, faxes, etc).  Unlike modem and ISDN connections, a DSL connection to the Internet is always on, so there is no delay in getting to the Internet any time you need access.  Another big DSL benefit: you can continue to make and receive phone calls even while you surf the Internet.  No more need to choose between ordering a second phone line for Internet use or waiting in line to use the phone (or the computer)!

Wireless - Wireless technologies may be new to Internet access, but they've existed for some time.  I-Land's iWireless service utilizes the 2.4Ghz spectrum and frequency hopping to provide highly reliable, speedy broadband connections.  While current generation antennas require line-of-site between the provider and subscriber units, new antennas are being released as this is being typed that will allow solid non-line-of-site connections, so long as the subscriber antenna is within a mile or so of the "provider" antenna.  Wireless is quickly gaining momentum because it can often be deployed in areas unserved by DSL, ISDN, or other broadband solutions.  At I-Land, we also prefer it because it gives us the ability to provide service to customers without depending on service from phone companies. 

Here are web pages with useful information on these types of connections:
DSL Tips and Tricks
http://www.broadband-internet.org