Note: National Broadband Map data is from June 30, 2014 and is not being updated.
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Broadband Classroom » Technology



Asymmetric xDSL

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) is a wireline transmission technology that transmits data over traditional copper telephone lines to homes and businesses. Users are able to connect to the high-speed Internet via a modem without disrupting their telephone service. DSL is the technology most commonly used by local telephone companies to provide high-speed data services. Asymmetric DSL, used primarily by residential consumers, typically provides faster download speed for receiving data than upstream speed for sending data. This means that it may be faster to download webpages, data or media than it would be to upload this information.


Technology:Symmetric xDSL

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) is a wireline transmission technology that transmits data over traditional copper telephone lines already installed to homes and businesses. Users are able to connect to the high-speed Internet via a modem without disrupting their telephone service. DSL is the technology most commonly used by local telephone companies to provide high-speed data services. Symmetric DSL is intended to provide equal speed for sending and receiving data. This arrangement is standard for businesses that move large files among various users and between multiple sources.


Technology: Other Copper Wireline

These are other technologies that use phone lines to transmit data. Examples include T-1 and ISDN lines.


Technology: Cable Modem - DOCSIS 3.0

Cable modem service enables high-speed Internet access using the same cable television infrastructure, including coaxial cables, which deliver cable TV programming. Users can access the Internet without disrupting cable TV service. "DOCSIS 3.0" refers to Data Over Cable Service Interface Specifications. It is the current technological standard for cable modems and offers faster broadband service than older standards.


Technology:Cable Modem - Other

Cable modem service enables high-speed Internet access using the same coaxial cables that deliver cable TV programming. Users can access the Internet without disrupting cable TV service. "Cable Modem - Other" refers to cable modems which utilize versions of DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specifications) other than the current standard, DOCSIS 3.0.


Technology: Optical Carrier - Fiber to the End User

This refers to a fiber-optic-based broadband network. Fiber optic technology converts electrical signals carrying data to light and then sends the light through transparent glass fibers about the diameter of a human hair. Fiber has the capacity to transmit data at speeds surpassing any other broadband technology.


Technology: Satellite

Just as satellites orbiting the earth provide necessary links for telephone and video service, they can also provide links for broadband. Satellite broadband is another form of wireless broadband and is useful for serving remote or sparsely populated areas. In some remote areas, this may be the only access to broadband service. Obtaining satellite broadband may be more costly and involved than obtaining DSL or cable modem. A user must have:

As of February 2011, users may not see broadband satellite providers included in the search results page. NTIA expects to update the satellite information and include it in the next six-month update of the National Broadband Map. The following satellite providers have provided data to several states: Wild Blue, Hughesnet, Skyway.


Technology: Terrestrial Fixed Wireless - Unlicensed

This technology enables wireless broadband service to a specific geographic location using spectrum that is shared among Internet service providers. This wireless service includes WiFi and other similar technologies (e.g., WiMAX and other proprietary wireless systems).


Technology:Terrestrial Fixed Wireless - Licensed

This technology enables wireless broadband service to a specific geographic location using spectrum licensed to the Internet service provider. This wireless service includes WiFi and other similar technologies (e.g., WiMAX and other proprietary wireless systems).


Technology: Terrestrial Mobile Wireless - Licensed

This technology enables wireless broadband services in a specific geographic location using spectrum that is dedicated to an Internet service provider and targeted for mobile use by consumers within the area. This wireless service is generally offered by cellular phone providers, and includes technologies such as LTE, mobile WiMAX, CDMA2000 (EVDO), and UMTS (HSPA).


Technology: Electric Power Line

Sometimes referred to as "Broadband over Power Lines", this technology provides broadband by using the power lines connected to a consumer's residence. Consumers must use special modems provided by the power company in order to access broadband Internet services.


Technology: All Other

Technology types listed as "other" refer to any technologies used to deliver broadband-quality speeds that are not included in the other categories listed here.




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