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Everything you need to know about broadband

01 Mar 2012

Whether you just moved cities, switched service providers or are one of the very few left out there who has not yet upgraded from dial-up; this month in NetGuide we’ll help you learn everything there is to know about Broadband, including what it is, how to set up your Broadband connection and Broadband speed.


The term ‘Broadband’ refers to a telecommunications signal or device of greater bandwidth, in some sense, than another standard or usual signal or device. The broader the band, the greater the capacity for traffic. What this really boils down to is that Broadband is a more efficient and more convenient way to access the internet – unlike a dial-up connection, you don’t have to re-connect each time you want to get online. It’s always on, it’s faster and it can accommodate more activity.

Most service providers allow you to choose between Broadband at home, which uses the phone line to your house without interfering with your telephone conversations, or mobile Broadband, which works the way a mobile phone does, for people on the move using a laptop.

So to summarize; Broadband lets you keep your phone line free, so you can talk and surf the internet at the same time and there’s no need for a second line; it’s always on – there’s no wait to get online as there’s no dialling up; and it gives you access to a wider scope of online activities such as shopping, banking, purchasing music and games, emailing large attachments, watching videos and many other things that prove difficult to do with dial-up.HOW DOES BROADBAND WORK?

Broadband usage is measured in the amount of data that you use (how many megabytes (MB) you download and upload) whereas dial-up usage is measured in the time you spend on the internet (how many minutes you are connected).

Your Broadband data allowance can only be used on your own Broadband connection. In other words, you can’t use your username and password on someone else’s Broadband connection to use your Broadband data allowance.

With companies like Telecom, if you exceed your Broadband monthly data allowance it will either cost you $2 per GB for the additional data used (charged per MB so you only pay for what you use) or you’ll have your speed reduced to a maximum of 64Kbps and pay no extra. Your usual speed will reset at the end of your billing month. You can choose whichever Broadband option suits you best.

Using a wireless Broadband modem, you can connect up to four computers to the internet at the same time.

Standard Broadband is delivered using a technology called ADSL2+ (or ADSL if you aren’t in an area where this is available). In theory, standard Broadband can deliver maximum possible download speeds of up to 24Mbps (ADSL = 7.6Mbps). In reality though, the actual speeds will vary for a number of reasons. Some factors affecting connection speed include how close your house is to the exchange or roadside cabinet, your internal house connection and telephone wiring, the capability of your modem and the type of phone line and its condition.

Speed can also be affected on a short-term/temporary basis by such factors as the number of people viewing a website at the same time as you, how much data other people are currently sending and receiving, the number of Broadband customers in your area, how fast the website your visiting can provide data, how your software operates and if you have selected the reduced speed option when you’ve exceeded your data allowance.


This can be tricky, so we recommend calling a service technician for help. However, if you want to go it alone, be sure to follow the user’s manual that comes with your device. Telecom offers an extremely clear and helpful user’s guide and manual, which you can view here: tinyurl.com/7loa6cs (Keep in mind that this guide will only be applicable if you are using one of Telecom’s Broadband options). It’s difficult for us to walk you through each step without knowing your specific situation, but the above guide will tell you everything you need to know – from the pieces included in your Broadband kit to the instructions on how to connect them – complete with visual diagrams.

Telecom also offers free connection of your Broadband service with 12 month term contracts, and reasonably low fees for connection and wiring or modem installation visits.  Click here for more details.