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The term broadband refers to a telecommunications signal of greater bandwidth, in some sense, than another standard or usual signal (and the broader the band, the greater the capacity for traffic). Different criteria for "broad" have been applied in different contexts and at different times. Its origin is in radio systems engineering, but became popularized after MediaOne adopted it as part of a marketing campaign in 1996 to sell their high speed data access. The slogan was "This is Broadband. This is the Way". The term has never been formally defined, even though it is used widely and has been the subject of many policy debates, and the FCC "National Broadband Plan".


In telecommunication

Broadband in telecommunications refers to a signaling method that includes or handles a relatively wide range (or band) of frequencies, which may be divided into channels or frequency bins. Broadband is always a relative term, understood according to its context. The wider (or broader) the bandwidth of a channel, the greater the information-carrying capacity. In radio, for example, a very narrow-band signal will carry Morse code; a broader band will carry speech; a still broader band is required to carry music without losing the high audio frequencies required for realistic sound reproduction. A television antenna described as "broadband" may be capable of receiving a wide range of channels; while a single-frequency or Lo-VHF antenna is "narrowband" since it only receives 1 to 5 channels. In data communications a digital modem will transmit a datarate of 56 kilobits per seconds (kbit/s) over a 4 kilohertz wide telephone line (narrowband or voiceband). However when that same line is converted to an non-loaded twisted-pair wire (no telephone filters), it becomes hundreds of kilohertz wide (broadband) and can carry several megabits per second (ADSL).


The various forms of digital subscriber line (DSL) services are broadband in the sense that digital information is sent over a high-bandwidth channel. This channel is located above (i.e., at higher frequency than) the baseband voice channel on a single pair of wires.[1]

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