Talk:Broadband Internet access

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Rural Discussion[edit]

The section on types of broadband seems to lean towards rural areas. The discussion centers on things like availability in rural area etc. This is a general encyclopedia, not "high speed internet for the rural user", therefore including that discussion in the general description is not acceptable. It should at the very least be in its own section, or perhaps article. There is also 0 mention of cable DOCSIS systems, the prevailing form of high speed internet.

No, "broadband" is in practice an economic development term used only in reference to rural areas. Keep your "high speed" tech talk in Internet access. Hell I remember when 14kbps modem was "high speed". Drivel. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:01, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Satellite Internet[edit]

We just got WildBlue satellite internet service a couple days ago. We're paying $45 a month for the service. Installation and equipment ($299), plus the first month's service, and other fees and taxes all came to $371 for us. Where we live in the country we can't really get anything else - we live too far from DSL, there's no cable service out here, we don't have line of site for high speed wireless. So far it works really good for us, even with latency.
JesseG 04:39, September 2, 2005 (UTC)

Yes, I think it's VERY inaccurate to say that satellite broadband is "unsuitable for applications such as multiplayer Internet gaming". Plenty of turn-based Internet games allow you several seconds to perform an action during each turn. Some games (Yahoo Pool, for example) allow the player to take an UNLIMITED amount of time between actions. And even among more time-sensitive games, some of the games deal with latency issues better than others.

Maybe it would be better to simply document the typical latency along with a caution that this latency may affect the playability of SOME Internet games. SleepyheadKC 20:44, February 3, 2006 (UTC)

I have edited this section. Using personal experience and the information cited in the two replies before me. I think it is now a little more suitable. I have mentioned how it is still possible to play games online but it may be unsuitable for those requiring real-time user input. I have also cited certain exceptions to this rule. In particular, turn based games and real time strategy. I am not perfectly happy with my wording, but it at least serves to clarify and expand on gaming over satellite connections. It's not impossible, under certain circumstances it's totally unnoticeable but it often turns out to be less than ideal. Feedback on my changes would be appreciated. --Jetlaw 15:13, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Downloading & Online Games[edit]

Can anyone tell me playing online games and downloading programmes and softwares constitute the same thing? Because if somebody's paying $45 a month for broadband will he or she be charged extra for downloading or even playing online games if there's restriction to downloading to certain level? Sisney dude 18:38, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

KaBand Satellite Gaming[edit]

It appears that MMORPGs such as Diablo 2, Guild Wars, and World of Warcraft slow down much less often than 56k with Wildblue connection of 1.5 Mbits. [Diablo 2]] is very playable over 56k so it's even better with Wild Blue. My theory is the node activity is turn based so node locations stats data aren't shared as frequent as a first person shooter. There is slow down in odd times in online first person shooters (because of the unconsistant 256 kbit upload speed). First Person shooters have to consistantly share node location, weapon, direction of fire pm;ome. The point is I find MMORPGs playable over Wildblue or KaBand satellite. Renegadeviking 07:17, December 6, 2005 (UTC)

Broadband Elsewhere?[edit]

A great deal of this article seems to apply to the United States only. It is interesting, nonetheless, but it does present a distinct bias. I am not knowledgable enough to edit it, but I would like to see more global information here.

reaction Engels: It not only in the United States. It's also being used in Holland. Broadband is the term for a high speed internet. It's express in bps(bits per second). Most of the time it's in Kbps(kilo bits per seconde) and Mbps(Mega bits per second). But it could be more in the future.

reactie Nederland: Breedband is eigelijk alleen een term voor een hoge internet snelheid. Dit word uitgedrukt in bps(bits per seconde). De meesten hebben een internet snelheid van Kbps(Kilo Bits per seconde) en Mbps(Mega bits per seconde), maar dit kan ook nog meer worden in de toekomst. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:11, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

How about Ethernet?[edit]

I think fiber/Ethernet as a last mile technology is pretty important. You get 10 + 10 Mbit/s for 50 USD a month over here in Sweden. And you get 100 + 100 for 90 dollars. --Jan Tångring 21:54, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I've stuck in an analogy to a water pipe, where a modem is a skinny pipe, and broadband is a fat pipe. My understanding is that the speed of either is about the same (it's just electrons flying along a wire), and I think it's somewhat misleading that broadband in its various forms is referred to as "high-speed Internet", in the same way that it would be misleading to call a big drainage culvert a "high-speed water pipe". (If my technical understanding is wrong, someone please point it out.) -- Wapcaplet 20:15, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I don't think the term speed refers to the velocity of the electrons, it refers to the rate of transfer in bytes per unit time. Nevertheless your analogy is useful. Tuwile (talk) 11:43, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

I'm not an expert, but I'm pretty sure broadband does give a pretty decent latency improvement also over dial-up - so yes it is actually faster as well as wider. I'm not entirely sure why or how this is though, so I'm not rewriting the article. Anyone else? -- davedx 19/7/04

  • That is probably true, but (and again, I'm no expert either) that would only matter for the last stretch of connection between you and your ISP; from there on out, it's likely to be a high-bandwidth connection anyway, regardless of whether you have broadband or dialup. So the latency difference would only affect that small part of the route the data takes between you and the Internet. If I had a better understanding of this, I would love to make a nice illustration, carrying the water pipe analogy further: latency means longer pipes, regardless of their diameter. -- Wapcaplet 19:17, 19 Jul 2004 (UTC)
  • But regardless of the actual specifics of which sections of the line have high latency, the point is that broadband _is_ faster as well as giving more bandwidth. That's why so many online gamers get it - not to do big downloads, but to get lower pings in games where reaction times are important.

An illustration would be cool. I might look into it ;) -- davedx 20/7

Sudden growth[edit]

This article seems to have suffered a growth spurt (maybe it hit puberty?) in the past few weeks. It could really do with some organizing, and sub-headings. I'm thinking something along the lines of:

  • "Overview", consisting of a broad (no pun intended) description of what broadband internet is, in terms most general to the layman. Articles should focus on the most widespread (though not necessarily most correct) usage of the term; we need to clearly define what "broadband internet access" means to most people: fast internet. The table of connection speeds should be moved to the top, near the overview.
  • "Technology" (or maybe just "Development"), covering the more technical details of, essentially, what "broadband internet access" means to telecommunications engineers. This is the "Well, technically, here's what broadband internet really is..." section.
  • "The global picture" (or something to that effect), giving an overview of broadband availability and usage in different regions of the globe.

Just my thoughts on it, anyway. I'll have a go at getting started; hopefully someone with better knowledge of the technical details can help tidy it up and smooth out the narrative flow. -- Wapcaplet 19:33, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Be careful of regional differences[edit]

We should take care not to apply regional bias to this article. DSL rates and pricing vary a lot between countries: in Eastern Europe and the United States, performance is low and average and prices relatively high, while Scandinavian countries and France have much higher rates at lower prices. We should try to reflect this in the article. David.Monniaux 10:18, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Also, there seems to me an inconsistency between regional descriptions. Singapore is listed as having 99% penetration; but in the following section South Korea is listed at having highest penetration at 23%. I do not know enough to edit it correctly- but I do see a contradiction. DevanJedi 30 Jun 2005

Penetration could be given in terms of availability, in other words the number of homes that could order the service, or subcribers, which is the number of homes that actually have the service. Penetration can also be quoted in terms of homes or head of population - the first gives higher numbers. The South Korea number sounds about right to be the number of FTTH subscribers out of total number of homes in the country, which is something else again. People need to be more careful when providing these statistics. --Opticalgirl (talk) 12:22, 30 October 2010 (UTC)


Should we be using a slightly more current transfer rate - the 256 kilobits has often been called outdated on dslreports and similar sites. Should we add "in the US the FCC defines broadband as...." in lieu of it's current wording? Tawker 20:11, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

move Broadband issues by country[edit]

I propose to move the section Broadband issues by country to a merge with DSL around the world to form a broader article Broadband worldwide. Please discuss this in Talk:DSL around the world. --Marc Lacoste 14:23, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

done --Marc Lacoste 13:48, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

For the author of this article: You forgot any[edit]

At Technology section when you talk about "one of the great challenges of broadband..." this part you talk as if only at rural zones broadband access is more expensive than cities with high population density, but also we have the same problem in cities with low population density (at least in Argentina perhaps not in USA then you only talk about rural zones.

"Not really broadband"[edit]

It is evident from bandwidth that there is a perfectly standard technical meaning of "broadband" which just means "relatively high bitrate". I therefore don't see the point of the overly-technical two-paragraph rant in the intro. – Smyth\talk 16:01, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Also, my understanding is that DSL is multiplexed on different channels (from Dsl), so wouldn't that count as broadband even in the narrow definition? Strf 03:14, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

This stuff has now been removed from the intro. Oli Filth 21:04, 8 December 2006 (UTC)


I have removed the following sentence from the intro:

"Broadband" in this context refers to the larger available bitrate, and is independent of whether the carrier is analog (broadband) or digital (baseband).

Broadband in no way implies analogue, any more that digital implies baseband. What is more, a carrier is always analogue. Therefore, this sentence makes no sense. Oli Filth 11:24, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Powerline Broadband[edit]

I thought the powerline broadband used fibre optic in the centre of the line of cable? Wouldn't this eliminate noise as it is simply light? Oh but then you could only put it in new powerlines, cos who would replace all the powerlines to have fibre optic in them...? -- 13:45, 6 January 2007 (UTC) User:Nzhamstar

No, power-line networks superimpose the data signals directly onto the existing cables. No extra wires/etc. are required. Oli Filth 14:14, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
Outdoor power line networking (for indoor see IEEE P1901 and G.9960 and older stuff it subsumes like HomePlug and X-10 or just powerline networking) is of two types:
The EU-standardized OPERA type that operates in 30-50MHz with spectrum avoidance, which the ARRL and some other radio users dislike as they are near those bands, which runs about as far as DSL and is a direct competitor to it, *and*
E-line from Corridor, which is a patented technology to actually get the same bandwidth out of the overhead power line as fibre, but not for more than one km.
Both of these rely ultimately on fibre backhaul so there would be some use for buried cables that include both power and fibre optics, but that forces you to cut one to replace the other, so there is little utility to that design. For indoor use Apple has shown off a patent for an outlet that has a fiber tap in it and an AC outlet, but that does not use powerline networking, though it could be used to bridge one type of networking to another at the outlet.
Fiber Optic cables can have an issue similar to "noise" on traditional cable lines. When animals or wear and tear create holes in the protective coating, exposing the glass fibers, the extra light that penetrates can cause scrambling of the signal. Leejweb (talk) 20:06, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
When we're talking backhaul we're talking well-secured lines not last mile. Over the last mile it might be an issue but only if the fiber actually comes to the house which makes little cost sense given so many copper technologies (ethernet, powerline, cat3 telephone, coax) can do that part, and that the fiber connected devices need AC power anyway. Powerline wins big in all of those respects as it can actually solve the whole problem from the cable/telco closet to the device including the power, and we need AC integration anyway for home grid purposes and energy demand management.
So powerline should be a major feature of this article. But it should be merged with Internet access anyway because "broadband" isn't a technical term and doesn't deserve any play here.
It's actually an economic development term, but to deal with it properly you have to think of "broadband" as a list of services not a tech spec.

New OECD stats are out for December 2006[edit]

New statistics for broadband penetration in OECD countries have been published at,3343,en_2649_34223_38446855_1_1_1_1,00.html . As I do not know how to incorporate stats in Wikipedia entries, I'd like to ask anyone more knowledgeable to replace the June 2006 statistics with these ones.

Incorrect use of terminology[edit]

This page discusses high-speed internet connections, high speed of course being a relative term. Broadband actually refers to the ability of a comminications carrier to support multiple channels of communication simultaneously. This is as opposed to baseband communications. This article should be cleaned up, to remove misuses of terminology, including in the title. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:13, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps Internet access should explain all the technology and (since 'broadband' is either not a technical term or not a relevant one any more as all communications carriers tend to be packet based and therefore 'broadband' now) this article can explain the access issues by population (rural vs. urban, rich vs. poor, by country, by last mile technology with its business and tech challenges outlined) and deal with it more as a cultural factor/phenonema? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:55, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Right, there is a technical term broadband, but now days it has become a meaningless marketing term like a "high performance" car, or "family size" detergent box. Like most marketing terms, it has inflated to the point where every Internet connection technology is called "broadband" which is probably why the two articles were proposed to be merged. At least we need to clarify this in the article. See below. W Nowicki (talk) 19:10, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

HSIA redirects here[edit]

But I can't find why, the article makes no mention of it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:02, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps someone thought "High Speed Internet Access" which is what it redirected to back in 2005. There was a separate article on High Speed Internet Access back then, but it was later redirected here. Does it cause any harm? Ah, I see several notable people with Hsia as a name! So it probably should turn into a dab page instead. In fact, Hsia redirects to Xia so not sure what to do. Perhaps one big dab? W Nowicki (talk) 23:06, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

"access", "adoption" & lobbying[edit]

  • Denial of ServiceDon't believe the telecoms. Broadband access in the United States is even worse than you think., April 28, 2010 (talk) 20:43, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

irrelevant information[edit]

This article is full of irrelevant information and meme terms. It needs a complete overhaul. --flyjedi (talk) 22:19, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

I definitely agree. It also focuses very much on the challenges of rural broadband, and does not give a particularly global view of broadband access. I'm not particularly knowledgeable about broadband, but I could try and organize the information slightly better. --Titus.jon (talk) 19:59, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

The focus on rural access is appropriate as it is only in rural areas where "broadband" remains an elusive goal. It's an economic development term not a technical term.

"Broadband Internet access" should be about what?[edit]

This article is fatally flawed because it says nothing about fibre-optic cable internet access (FTTB or FTTH) although you can find pages on this elsewhere on Wikipedia. Perhaps someone who knows to do it might be able to cross-link it or add those pages here? (talk) 12:24, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Internet access should deal with all the technology and this article should be about the economics, business and cultural including ROI/cost of various fibre options (to the building or just to the nearby telco/cable closet, etc.)
The article on the digital economy deals with the economic, business and cultural aspects of internet access. This topic should be included, but can link to digital economy as the main article? --Opticalgirl (talk) 10:20, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, link to digital economy as the main article, but have a separate article here on the economics of broadband internet access. It is not a technical term!


There was a merge proposed last November 2010, but I could not find a discussion. I would favor a merge in the other direction, so that the resulting article is Internet access. This is based on the minimalism rule. Perhaps "broadband" is the more common term in marketing and public policy, but from a technical standpoint, broadband already had a meaning. I know Wikipedia is not a crystal ball, but things have changed in the ten years it has existed. Dial-up Internet access is shrinking to being insignificant (a couple percent in the latest data I saw). So a unified article with a brief mention of dial-up, and then the 90% of it that disucsses the different "broadband" technologies would be better than two forks that are badly sourced.

There also needs to be some editing. I think the verbage here on ISDN is undue weight. Is there a source for how many Internet connections actually use it? My guess is that the editor might be confused with B-ISDN which was a grandiose marketing vision for Asynchronous Transfer Mode technology, which actually was (is?) used for example from DSL termination points in central offices etc. But it only has its name in common. W Nowicki (talk) 23:45, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

I totally disagree for the usual reason of clarity through separation, which here has three aspects: necessary symmetry of treatments of each stage in internet technical development (for those wanting the level of detail about a given step shown in this article now); the near-inevitability of future major steps that will (by symmetry) need their own articles quite probably just as long as this one; and the need for the original article on access in general to remain accessible to those wanting a concise historical and current overview without that view being buried in an extremely long article into which has been crammed coverage of several whole articles covering all the successive historical steps in all their technological details. So, firstly, as alternatives to Broadband disappear, they ostensibly become less important. However, the coverage that exists already of the pre-broadband era should not actually be shortened, because if anybody does want to know more about it, what is there now should remain there for them to read. However, as those alternatives more or less disappear from use, they should not be left to clog a single article covering all forms or modes of internet access. Secondly, the technical description of broadband in this article is quite long enough to be best presented in an article of its own, so this article should not be merged. The article on internet access as a whole should remain even if only with a focus chiefly historical and demographic, with purely reference links to this and the dial-up access articles for the technical coverage of the protocols, speed implications and so on. Thirdly, as W Nowicki says but evidently fails to see the point of, "Wikipedia is not a crystal ball". Broadband is a particular technology. It currently is more or less synonymous with ADSL running mainly on copper telephone wires into homes though some places are moving towards replacement of copper with fibre optic physical connections. Whatever the future of the hardware and protocols will bring, any major new step should when the time comes quite probably have its own article, which (if a big enough departure, anyway) will have no business being merged into this one about the technology of "broadband" as it stands today. Whether or not the term "broadband" will be kept for new versions of the most commonly used technology at any future time, either this article, or it kept roughly as it is now plus a new separate article about the next major phase, will be quite long enough covering the hardware and protocol technology without having to include the historical strand --- which, if merged, would have to pick its way among all the multiple technical descriptions so that it can be used by anybody wanting a concise, mainly non-technical narrative of how access developed over time. If the term "broadband" is in fact kept and given a new meaning for the next big step to an even faster technology, I am very strongly of the view that this article should remain as covering what it now does: "broadband" as it stands today; perhaps the introduction will need to separate the present usage from some future usage as a separation of the terminology, but then the new technology after that big step must then have its own article. Possibly the titles would have to be changed to distinguish them. Let us imagine that the next step uses something called (for the sake of having an identifier) "WXYZ" instead of "ADSL". Then, if (as I imagine, but this is only speculation for the sake of making this point) ADSL does cease to be an appropriate description for the technology of that new step, a standard solution for the article title would be to alter the name of this article to "Broadband (ADSL) Internet access" and the title of the new article could be "Broadband (WXYZ) Internet access". The new one would probably be of a similar length to this one, and the article about Internet access in general would simply have a mention of that next step with the usual link to the new article. And so on, indefinitely into the future. Every time you merge something that's more than (say) 2 A4 pages of small print into any other article, you give a hostage to fortune so that, if a subject grows any more, the article becomes too long for the convenience of people who want to read the overview, and who thus definitely do not to pick their way through many pages of specialized detail. Keep this as it is and, as I say, don't assume that the crystal ball of any one contributor is correct about how things will be in another ten years' time! Oh: and (just to emphasize again) the need for symmetry is not arbitrary. The coverage of the pre-broadband step (dial-up) is fine, if shorter. The length of this article as it stands is appropriate for the visitor wanting this detail (but way too long for those needing an overview); and as the current standard is superseded by the next step, it will be appropriate for that new step to be covered in detail similar to this article, but that will clearly have to be a new at least equally long article. Without throwing away the detail of this article, there is no way all these three could be squeezed into a single article and that still be helpful to those needing the overview, but all the details now here may be useful to a different technical readership. So, leave well alone: carry on following the present plan but as I have extrapolated. Iph (talk) 11:14, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
Plenty of words, but not sure I follow it all. Certainly in the US, "broadband" was used by cable modem providers by the 1990s, so is not at all synonymous with ADSL. And how can you claim "Broadband is a particular technology"? Which one is it? At least in the US, all ways of connecting to the Internet are marketed as "broadband", even wireless ones (model phone based and Wi-Fi for example). Fiber-optic ones too for that matter. If there are regional differences we should say so, and stick to paraphrasing cited reliable sources. W Nowicki (talk) 00:25, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
I favor a merge of Broadband Internet access into Internet access. I could be convinced that Internet access should cover both broadband and non-broadband at a fairly high non-technical level, with another article dealing with the technical details, but the technical details could also be left to individual articles on each technology. Jeff Ogden (talk) 18:40, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
I favour sticking all the technical stuff in Internet access and all the policy/service/rural digital divide economic arguments in this one.
By no means should anyone pretend "broadband" is a technical term. It's a list of service expectations, if anything a Quality of service (QoS) that includes billing and usage based billing expectations
— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:01, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
I do not follow your second comment. The connection I am using now is marketed as "broadband" but has no QoS guarantees at all, and no usage based billing; it is flat monthly fee. Again this is typical in the US, so if we can get other sources those might be discussed too. I still disagree with keeping the article as it stands, a mish-mash full of red links, uncited statements, and dated details. Certainly claiming at the front that is has to do with economics and art is misleading at best. It is a marketing term. Yes, phone company lobbyists have gotten politicians to use it to mean subsidies to their less profitiable customers, but there are plenty of articles on that subject, such as List of countries by number of broadband Internet subscriptions, List of Internet users by country, National broadband plans from around the world, Digital divide, Broadband universal service, etc. so do not need more. Nor should we use euphemisms or idiom, but plain English. Here would be a compromise: put technical info into Internet access, and convert this one to just a summary article pointing to that and the above list for example. W Nowicki (talk) 00:25, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Trimmed a bit of the verbiage, and agree that some sort of merge or differentiation is needed. Snori (talk) 03:58, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

I implemented the proposed merge with Internet access. -- Beland (talk) 06:11, 31 December 2011 (UTC)