The latest technology in a nutshell. This week: Broadband.
name used to describe various types of high-speed connections to the Internet.
Broadband is viewed in many quarters as the key to the e-economy.
two big constraining factors of Internet usage, especially at home, is speed
and cost – broadband potentially gets rid of both restraints.
of the most talked about broadband offerings of the moment is ADSL (asymmetric
digital subscriber line) and works across existing copper telephone wires.
This, potentially, works at 10 times faster than a standard modem connection
and offers an always-on link to the Internet for which users pay a flat-rate
access fee rather than call charges each time they dial up their Internet
forms of broadband include cable modems, leased lines and satellite.
does it mean to me?
you’re accessing the Internet via your office network, speed is probably not an
issue at the moment.
broadband will have an increasingly important part to play in the development
of mobile or home-working and also in the field of e-learning.
you access the Internet at home, you will have noticed how much slower it is
compared to across your network at work. ADSL, for instance, can work at up to
10 times as fast as a conventional modem (upwards of 512kbps whereas a
conventional modem is around 56kbps).
access at home will not only enable workers to carry out any Internet-based
work far more quickly, it will also let them maximise technologies that currently
struggle across standard home modems, such as video-conferencing and
will also enable the HR department to control the cost of a workers’ Internet
access at home, since they will be paying a flat rate for the service. This
means you can also be fairly relaxed about them using it for leisure activities
since it won’t cost any more. BT’s domestic ADSL service is £39.99 a month plus
£150 set-up fee.
e-learning courses rely on users being able to download large amounts of data,
such as multimedia and video files as part of the course, and broadband also
makes this a much more viable option from home.
do I go for further information?
you want to further investigate a broadband solution for members of your
workforce, there are a number of educational sites. Among the best are www.broadband-news.co.uk www.broadband-help.co.uk and
service at www.btopenworld.com details BT’s ADSL service and Demon Internet’s
equivalent can be found at
is developing a range of wireless broadband solutions aimed at the mobile
market. For details of these, go to Nokia’s site at www.nokia.com (where there’s also a handy
glossary of telecoms jargon).