Broadband types in the UK

When a consumer goes to select a broadband service it is essential to know what type of services are available. The services include Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), Cable broadband, Fibre, Wireless, Satellite and Broadband over Power lines (BPL). Basic information about various broadband services is discussed below and this will be useful for anyone new to the field of broadband Internet.

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) Services

DSL technology adopts the telecommunication lines already installed by the telephone company for the data transfer. According to the speed of transfer the DSL broadband services are divided into Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) or Symmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (SDSL).

The ADSL type of broadband provides faster data transmission over the same telephone line used for home telephones without affecting the normal function of telephones. This is suitable for those who wish to download a lot of data from the Internet. However, the uploading of data is slower.

SDSL is similar to ADSL but a separate telephone line is required. This has high data transfer ability both on the downstream side as well as the upstream side. This is suitable for businesses that have a lot of uploading and downloading requirements.

When many telecommunications operators are allowed to use their own equipment in the telephone exchange the service is called as Local Loop Unbundling (LLU). This allows for a wider choice of service to the customer.

Broadband through cables

Nowadays television and telephone packages are combined with broadband Internet services and offered as a single package. The same coaxial cables used for TV sets are utilised for transmitting the broadband Internet signals using cable modems. The cable modems provides two outputs for TV and Computers. The Internet can be accessed by simply switching on the PC.

Broadband through Satellite

Just as TV and telephone services are operated through the satellites Internet is also accessed through them. Now even the most remote or less populated areas of the UK have broadband Internet service by using dish antennas.

The services are available in two forms. One type of service the satellites are only used to download the information (just like receiving TV signals). Uploading or sending data through Internet has to again depend upon the land telephone lines (dialup). A two-way service is available in which the downloading and uploading of data is possible through the satellite – this is very expensive.

The cost factor is quite high as compared to DSL or cable systems. Further, there is a possibility of poor performance in extreme weather conditions. Moreover, real time data transfer is found to be not feasible due to high latency (long delays) observed in this type of service.

Wireless Broadband

Wireless systems are more suitable for accessing the Internet services at places where a cable or telephone line installation is difficult. An antenna is used to receive the wireless signals. By establishing a radio link between the provider's facility and the user's PC transmission of broadband Internet is achieved. This service is more suitable for remote areas and requires line of sight (the customer's antenna must have a clear view of the sender's mast).

Nowadays it has become common to provide the Internet service, through the wireless technology, in public places like airports, city parks and bookstores. There are 'hotspots' at many public places that work using a short range wireless technology called 'Wireless fidelity' (Wi-Fi). In such places the DSL or cable broadband are combined with Wi-Fi system.

You should use caution when using these hotspots because they are insecure. We recommend that you install Wi-Fi Protector. This is a free program that has many features that we recommend to keep you secure.