What is Broadband?

Broadband refers to high-speed Internet access and advanced telecommunications services for homes, commercial establishments, government, schools, and community anchor institutions. In New York State, broadband service is primarily delivered via cable modem, fiber-optic cable, digital subscriber line (DSL), or through mobile wireless (3G/4G/LTE). In fact, many service providers use a combination of wireline and wireless technologies to provide hybrid broadband service to their customers.

Wireline Technologies

  • Fiber to the Premise (FTTP) is an optimal broadband technology that can consistently deliver speeds of 1 Gigabit (1,000 Mbps) and higher.

  • Cable Modem uses coaxial cable to deliver broadband. Bandwidth is managed through shared connections.

  • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) uses copper telephone lines to deliver broadband.

  • Broadband Over Power Lines (BPL) uses existing electric wiring along with fiber to deliver broadband through electric outlets. BPL requires distinct equipment installed at the home.

Wireless Technologies

  • Fixed Wireless / WiMax uses a combination of a fiber backbone and wireless towers to deliver broadband. Fixed wireless technologies can be quickly deployed at low costs with a wide reach.

  • Mobile Broadband is a combination of cellular and data service generally for use on mobile devices. Mobile broadband typically complements wireline connections, but some companies provide home broadband service delivered over mobile broadband networks.

  • White Space is an emerging technology that uses the empty fragments of TV spectrum scattered between frequencies. With the ability to travel through physical obstacles such as trees and mountains without diminished signal, white space technology can be deployed in areas without a high volume of existing infrastructure.

  • Satellite delivers broadband through a two-way transmission of Internet data passed between a satellite and a dish placed at the home. Satellite technology utilizing broader portions of the electromagnetic spectrum can provide increased download speeds.