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Chapter 3. Residential Broadband Internet Technologies

Chapter 3. Residential Broadband Internet Technologies

In this chapter…

Over the past couple of years, the Internet has become an inescapable part of our lives. It has been around in one form or another since the late 1960s. In the last few years it has caught the imagination of millions of people around the world, with the number of people connecting to the Internet doubling every six months. The Internet's best-known feature is the World Wide Web (the Web). The resources available on the Web include text, graphics, video, audio, and animation. Unfortunately, many people that access the Web experience the frustration of endless waiting for information to download to their computers. You probably started accessing the Web with a 14.4K modem, and then upgraded to a 28.8K device. Now we are seeing the mass deployment of 56K modems, which is still not enough to satisfy our demands for speed. Everybody is in agreement that doubling analog modem speeds every year is no longer a feasible strategy. The days of impatiently waiting for Web pages are about to end, with large companies like AT&T, Microsoft, America Online, Yahoo!, and Cisco spending billions of dollars to bring the broadband revolution to our homes.

Simply put, residential broadband technologies will provide us with the conduit we need to access advanced services such as rich multimedia content, video on demand, and private networking services. A significant benefit of these technologies is that the link between your home network and the Internet is always on, which means users don't have to log in each time they access the Net. With an always-on connection, the Internet can become an integral part of our lives and will allow each of us to develop a Web style that is unique.

Forrester Research is projecting that at least twenty million American homes will have a broadband connection by the end of 2003. There are several rival technologies that are competing with each other to deliver these services to our doorsteps. This chapter will present an overview of the main rivals.


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