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home > Internet > broadband simplified > DSL faq's

what is broadband?
Broadband is a technology designed for regular phone lines. Today, broadband's primary use is for high-speed Internet connections. But broadband has the potential to deliver video conferencing, television, video-on-demand, and other "cutting-edge" services.

What are the benefits of broadband?
As well as the speed factor, broadband is much more convenient than a dialup modem. Broadband routers are always connected to the network, meaning there is no "dial-up" involved, and you no longer pay a telephone call every time you use the Internet. Additionally, broadband routers share a normal telephone line - you don't need a separate line for the router. When you evaluate the cost of broadband, remember to consider the savings on line rental and telephone calls compared to an older-style modem. And consider the convenience of having the Internet always at your fingertips - with no waiting 60 seconds for the old 33K or 56K modem to make connection.

How fast is broadband?
Much faster: Internet offers broadband connections from 256K to 6000K, around 200 times faster than an ordinary 33K modem.

Does broadband require a special phone line?
No, the vast majority of phone lines are suitable for broadband modems. Broadband splits the phone line into two frequency ranges. Generally, the frequencies below 4 kHz are used for voice, whilst the range above 4 kHz is used for data. This allows the telephone to be used at the same time as the broadband router.

Is broadband available Australia Wide?
The broadband network roll-out in Australia commenced around 12 months ago. Broadband will be installed in hundreds of telephone exchanges across Australia; the entire process will take a few years to complete. Many areas are already broadband equipped.

  • Broadband uses ordinary "copper pairs", the same as ordinary telephones. That means almost every household or business with a telephone line has the potential to use broadband. The "cable network", on the other hand, is available in a limited area only. Many households and businesses cannot access the cable network, and further, restrictions commonly apply to residents of flats and units.
  • The cable network is a "shared" network. This has implications for the speed and security of an Internet service. For example, only a limited amount of bandwidth is available per cable neighbourhood. In general, the more people using cable Internet, the slower it becomes. Some users of cable networks overseas have reported transfer speeds worse than a 33K modem during busy times. In contrast, broadband is a dedicated connection between the customer and the broadband exchange ("DSLAM").
  • Competition amongst cable networks is extremely limited - they are controlled by a small number of powerful companies. The broadband network is open to competition, and as such, consumers are likely to reap the benefit of lower prices and better choice.
  • Broadband is much better suited to business and corporate users. Broadband supports static IP addresses and network routing, unlike most cable Internet services. Broadband makes Virtual Private Networks affordable to many organisations for the first time. Branch offices can be linked at minimal cost. Using VPN software, staff with broadband at home can login to the office network - at incredibly fast speeds.

What type of computer do I need?
Almost all computers (less than 3-4 years old) are suitable for broadband. Internet supports both the Windows and Macintosh operating systems. Software is also available for Linux and other systems.

What level of computer skill do I need?
Internet manages the entire broadband installation for you. Installation of the broadband router and software at your premises is standard. Your web browser and e-mail will continue to operate like usual, although alot faster!

Can I share the broadband router?
Yes that is possible. Please advise us at the time of ordering your Internet broadband service if you would like installation on multiple computers (additional charges may apply).

How can Internet help my business?
We are highly experienced in broadband. Please contact us for advice and pricing. Our aim is to listen to your requirements, and provide a solution to match. Broadband offers many exciting possibilities for all organisations, large and small.

What is the difference between ISDN and broadband?
ISDN is a digital service supporting speeds of 64K and 128K in its basic configuration. Broadband is many times faster than ISDN, and for most Internet-related applications, broadband is a better choice. Broadband is also significantly cheaper than ISDN.

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