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This article is about telecommunications signalling methods. For high-speed Internet access, see Internet access. Look up broadband in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. In telecommunications, broadband is wide bandwidth data transmission which transports multiple signals and traffic types.
Different criteria for “broad” have been applied in different contexts and at different times. Its origin is in physics, acoustics, and radio systems engineering, where it had been used with a meaning similar to “wideband”. This meaning is only distantly related to its original technical meaning. In telecommunications, a broadband signaling method is one that handles a wide band of frequencies. Broadband” is a relative term, understood according to its context. The total bandwidth of the medium is larger than the bandwidth of any channel. The 10BROAD36 broadband variant of Ethernet was standardized by 1985, but was not commercially successful.
The DOCSIS standard became available to consumers in the late 1990s, to provide Internet access to cable television residential customers. A television antenna may be described as “broadband” because it is capable of receiving a wide range of channels, while a single-frequency or Lo-VHF antenna is “narrowband” since it receives only 1 to 5 channels. FS-1037C defines “broadband” as a synonym for wideband. However, “broadband video” in the context of streaming Internet video has come to mean video files that have bit-rates high enough to require broadband Internet access for viewing. Broadband video” is also sometimes used to describe IPTV Video on demand. Power lines have also been used for various types of data communication. Although some systems for remote control are based on narrowband signaling, modern high-speed systems use broadband signaling to achieve very high data rates.
One example is the ITU-T G. In 2014, researchers at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology made developments on the creation of ultra-shallow broadband optical instruments. In the context of Internet access, the term “broadband” is used loosely to mean “access that is always on and faster than the traditional dial-up access”. While fiber optics are generally faster than wireless broadband, wireless broadband also has the potential to grow rapidly, as it provides access not only in a fixed location but anywhere. The extremely high bandwidth of fiber may not be the key aspect for the majority of the customers.