The term broadband typically refers to internet services provided above a certain speed.
In the past common definitions stated that broadband internet service had two criteria:
- it’s always on
- it’s faster than dial-up
where “dial up” is a speed of 56kbps (kilobits per second).
Both of these criteria are flexible, at best. For example cellular/mobile internet may or may not be considered to be “always on”, as the mobile device itself can be turned on and off. The FCC has also attempted to define broadband internet connectivity to be download speeds above 4mbps (megabits per second) or even 20mbps.
In telecommunications, broadband is wide bandwidth data transmission which transports multiple signals and traffic types. The medium can be coaxial cable, optical fiber, radio, twisted pair or satellite. In the context of Internet access, broadband is used to mean any high-speed Internet access that is always on and faster than dial-up access over traditional analog or ISDN PSTN services.