Jeff Kiser owns KOR Systems, a company that installs dedicated wireless Internet solutions for the hospitality industry, particularly for hotels and resorts. Most people have heard terms like “wireless,” “DSL,” and “FiOS,” but not everyone knows what they mean or what the differences are between them. Here’s a quick rundown of the basic types of broadband Internet access available today.
Satellite Broadband: This is an uncommon type of broadband access due to its high cost, but it is popular with travelers and in parts of the world where other options are limited. In a satellite system, an Internet connection is established via orbiting satellite.
DSL: DSL stands for “Digital Subscriber Line,” one of the most popular broadband access choices. DSL uses a dedicated phone line to deliver service several times faster than old “dial-up” systems were capable of. It is still one of the slower delivery methods, but it is more than adequate for many people.
Cable Modem Broadband: Broadband access delivered over a TV cable and processed by a special modem is capable of reaching speeds much higher than DSL. However, cable lines tend to be shared, so at times of peak usage, connections can slow down somewhat.
Fiber Optics: Also called FiOs, this technology delivers a signal through a special fiber optic cable. FiOs is capable of blistering speeds, many times faster than cable, but its use is limited to certain areas because fiber optic cables aren’t as common as phone and TV cable lines.
Broadband Over Power Line: This cutting-edge technology, abbreviated BPL, isn’t widely available yet, but provides access over traditional power lines. The biggest advantage of BPL technology is that power lines are already installed practically everywhere, making it easy to provide widespread access. However, the technology has not yet been widely adopted.