Ballyhoo over broadband.If your Internet connection is too slow, check out these high-speed options
If you find that you do more waiting than work when you surf the Web, you may need to upgrade to a broadband Internet See broadband. service provider (ISP (1) See in-system programmable.
(2) (Internet Service Provider) An organization that provides access to the Internet. Connection to the user is provided via dial-up, ISDN, cable, DSL and T1/T3 lines. ). Broadband Internet access Broadband Internet access, often shortened to just "broadband", is high speed Internet access—typically contrasted with dial-up access over modem.
Dial-up modems are generally only capable of a maximum bitrate of 56 kbit/s (kilobits per second) and require the full use of a can deliver data transmission rates of up to 30 megabits per second (unit) megabits per second - (Mbps, Mb/s) Millions of bits per second. A unit of data rate. 1 Mb/s = 1,000,000 bits per second (not 1,048,576).
E.g. Ethernet can carry 10 Mbps. (Mbps), an exponential increase over the typical 14.4 Kbps to 56 Kbps connections most of us are used to. (One kilobit (thousand bits). For technical specifications, it refers to 1,024 bits. In general usage, it typically refers to an even one thousand bits (see kilo). Also Kb, Kbit and K-bit. See space/time.
(unit) kilobit - 2^10 = 1024 bits of storage (1 Kb). [Kb] equals 1,000 bits, while one megabit equals 1 million bits.) As an added bonus, most broadband services can stay active 24 hours a day. Right now, high-speed access is limited, but the race is on to get broadband access See broadband and wireless broadband. to your doorstep as quickly as possible.
More than just offering faster speeds and constant connections, broadband services hold the key to an improved Internet experience. The increased bandwidth will unlock the door to a new level of data-rich applications and services, such as advanced online banking and investing, enhanced video conferencing See videoconferencing.
(communications) video conferencing - A discussion between two or more groups of people who are in different places but can see and hear each other using electronic communications. , streaming audio A one-way audio transmission over a data network. It is widely used on the Web as well as company networks to play audio clips and Internet radio. Computers in home networks stream audio (mostly music) to digital media hubs connected to home theaters. and interactive gaming. "Broadband will alter the Internet landscape, changing customers' use and experience of online resources," states Christopher Mines, director of the People & Technology Strategies service at Forrester Research, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based information technology research firm. Mines authored a recent report, Broadband Hits Home, which predicts that by 2002, more than 16 million U.S. households--a quarter of all online homes--will use broadband Internet connections. Once that happens, broadband service providers will spread like wildfire and consumers will latch on to video e-mailing and virtual reality applications. Currently, most broadband ISPs are either cable or telephone companies.
Cable services use a standard coaxial connection (the same one that transmits cable television) and a cable modem that connects to your computer. Besides basic cable service, you'll need a cable modem, which can cost up to $300. Cable modems download data at between 10 Mbps and 30 Mbps, depending on the service and equipment. However, uploading tends to be a bit slower, 10 Mbps or less. In addition to your monthly service fee of approximately $50, expect a one-time installation fee of about $100.
Cable ISP services like @Home (www.athome.net) and Road Runner (www.rr.com) offer original content and customized browsers, as well as lightning-fast Web surfing. Multiple e-mail accounts and Web page hosting are also included in the service charges. Road warriors will appreciate @Home's ability to access accounts on the go by using a regular dial-up modern. And Time Warner-owned Road Runner gives subscribers access to the media giant's entertainment content without having to first connect to the Internet. Cable Internet access is not yet available nationwide, so it's best to contact your local cable company for information. However, if there's no cable access in your city, there is an alternative.
National and local telephone companies can install digital subscriber lines (DSL DSL
in full Digital Subscriber Line
Broadband digital communications connection that operates over standard copper telephone wires. It requires a DSL modem, which splits transmissions into two frequency bands: the lower frequencies for voice (ordinary ) that may meet your need for speed. Although generally slower than cable access, they're certainly faster than what you're used to. Infospeed, a service available through several local phone companies, gives you a choice of three connection speeds to fit your needs and budget: 640 Kbps ($40); 1.6 Mbps ($59.95) and 7.1 Mbps ($109.95). Depending on the type of DSL service you choose, you may or may not have to install additional lines at your home or business.
ADSL See DSL.
ADSL - Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line services use your existing phone lines, whereas ISDN ISDN
in full Integrated Services Digital Network
Digital telecommunications network that operates over standard copper telephone wires or other media. services require installation of a separate line. In either case, expect to pay about $100 for setup or installation charges. In addition to the Infospeed charges, you must pay the local phone company a monthly fee as well, which can range from $10 to $100 depending on your service plan and connection speed. And DSL modems can cost anywhere from $100 to $400.
Like cable Internet service, DSL is virtually always on. Standard features with companies like DSL Networks (www.dslnetworks.com), MediaOne (www.mediaone.com) or Bell Atlantic (www.bellatlanti.net) include e-mail and Web hosting. America Online users who subscribe to DSL services can retain their accounts and still access AOL's content.
If you're one of the lucky few who can get both high-speed alternatives, be sure to compare the service and pricing plans before you commit to either.
Cable Net service prices tend to be fixed, whereas phone companies offer anywhere from several months to a year free of service charges if you are willing to sign long-term contracts. And even though cable companies service more than 75% of current broadband customers, the numbers may soon shift. AOL (A division of Time Warner, Inc., New York, NY, www.aol.com) The world's largest online information service with access to the Internet, e-mail, chat rooms and a variety of databases and services. recently struck deals with Bell Atlantic and SBC (1) (SBC Communications Inc., San Antonio, TX, www.sbc.com) A large, national telecommunications company that grew from a multitude of local and regional companies, including Southwestern Bell, Pacific Bell and Nevada Bell, into a single, unified brand by 2002. Communications Inc. to use their DSL lines to offer broadband AOL service.
AOL expects to offer consumers broadband service for a $42 monthly fee starting this fall. Also, Microsoft recently announced trials of its new DSL service, MSN Internet Access MSN Internet Access was Microsoft Windows' default ISP. MSN was provided by Bell Sympatico, and has been included in older Windows editions (9x, Me) to easily create and connect with dial-up or broadband using a modem. DSL, which lets consumers use existing phones lines to push connection speeds to 8 Mbps. If trials in Atlanta, Seattle, Chicago and San Diego go as planned, Microsoft will offer the service in 20 cities by the end of the year.
A study by Jupiter Communications, Consumer Broadband: Five-Year Outlook, also estimates that by 2002, the broadband Internet access market will include satellite providers and the industry will reach revenues of $3.8 billion. Mines predicts, "Once consumers get a taste of high-speed Internet access at home, they'll never go back to dial-up."