Broadband is a cornerstone of everyday life, but did you know when it came about and are you clear on the different types? In this article, we go back to basics, putting broadband under the microscope and talking you through the pros and cons of your broadband options.

The origins of broadband

Broadband first emerged in the UK in the early 2000s and was supplied through BT phone lines. Its introduction meant that the signal on a single line could be split between phone and Internet — so you could make calls and be online at the same time! It also meant an increase in the ease and speed at which you could surf the Internet and download files.

Prior to this, painfully slow dial-up Internet meant the connection had to be dialled up via a telephone and downloading anything was extremely time-consuming. For example, downloading a movie could take up to five days!

Types of broadband connection

There are now several types of broadband available — depending on your needs and location. These include:

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)

This is a common type of broadband for residential customers who receive a lot of data — such as streaming on Netflix — but don’t send large amounts. With this in mind, ADSL usually provides faster speed for downloads than it does for uploads.

Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line (SDSL)

This is generally used by businesses who are sending and receiving large amounts of data and using several online services, like video conferencing. As a result, SDSL offers speedy uploads and downloads.

Cable Modem

This type of broadband connects your property to a fibre cabinet in your area using coaxial cables rather than traditional, copper lines. This makes this service faster than standard Internet connections, but not as fast as full-fibre broadband.

Fibre

Fibre broadband is supplied via glass or plastic fibre-optic cables. These cables can transmit more information than copper lines — making them much faster!

Satellite

In the same way that satellites provide signals for our TVs, radios and phones, they can also be used to provide broadband to areas that don’t have access to conventional fixed-line broadband, e.g. remote locations.

Choosing the right broadband for you

As well as the obvious broadband basics such as speed and whether the type you want is available in your area, you should also consider:

● Contract length: Some providers lock you into lengthy 24-month contracts. Make sure you’re comfortable with the provider and the small print before becoming tied in!

● Equipment: Many broadband deals will include free routers, whereas others will expect you to provide your own. Check this before signing up!

● Download allowance: This can vary significantly between providers, so make sure your allowance is sufficient for your needs.

● Customer support: Some providers offer far higher standards of customer service and technical support than others. This support is vital, so be sure to check reviews to see how providers fare in this area before becoming their customer!

At Everyday Communications, we offer a range of residential and business broadband packages including super-fast broadband and fibre. Many of our packages are available through 12-month contracts and we strive to ensure first-class customer service, with round-the-clock support.

For more information, speak to a member of our team or visit our website!