Broadband is a general term for permanent, high-speed connection to the internet. It describes any telecommunications technology that allows for a transfer of large amounts of data using either:
- fixed telephone lines, eg DSL (digital subscriber line), cable and fibre optic technologies
- wireless access, eg Wi-Fi networks, Wi-Max, mobile and satellite technologies
Is broadband Wi-Fi?
No. Broadband is a term for a fast connection to the internet. Broadband can be wired or wireless.
Wi-Fi is simply a means of getting broadband without having to connect through wires. It uses radio wave technology as an alternative to network cables to provide connectivity. Find out more about wireless technology.
How does broadband work?
A broadband connection, like a telephone line, is 'always on'. This means that, once you have switched on your computer or mobile device, you are connected and you can access the internet at any time.
Unlike the traditional 'dial-up' method, which has become largely redundant, broadband doesn't affect the phone line. This means that you are free to receive and make calls while online.
Most commonly, broadband is provided over your phone line, via cable or via satellite. You can also have broadband access via mobile networks. See more on the different types of broadband connections.
How much is broadband?
Broadband packages vary greatly, depending on the provider, the location of your premises and the services you need.
Normally, you pay a standard monthly fee to your provider for unlimited internet access, although certain broadband products may offer pay-as-you-go access.
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