Broadband in everyday use simply refers to high-speed internet access, as opposed to more specific technical definitions of the word.
In general, an internet link may be considered to be broadband if it offers a data transfer speed of 256kbit/s or higher.
Domestic broadband often reaches higher speeds than this, and the UK government has set itself the goal of providing universal access for everyone at a minimum 2Mbit/s.
Broadband technologies include DSL, or digital subscriber line, which delivers internet access along the same wires used to provide the telephone service to households.
Other technologies include cable, which provides internet access using the same high-bandwidth connection used for cable TV services.
Finally, there is mobile broadband, which refers to a wireless data connection using one of the 3G mobile phone networks
Mobile broadband connections are increasingly important as smartphones and tablets grow in use. Many mobile operators offer speeds of up to 7.2Mbit/s on HSPA 3G services, with higher speeds coming in the future as networks are upgraded to HSPA+ and possibly LTE.
Many governments see broadband as increasingly important to deliver services to their citizens electronically and to drive a new wave of economic growth by creating online businesses and services.
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