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Visions of the future Broadband Technologies Michael J Anderson There are many types of future broadband services planned but the definition of broadband can be clearly explained Broadband is an integrated all-digital two-way high-speed network that provides multiple services such as database access and interactive video Future Broadband technologies will change the way people conduct work and enjoy themselves Dr Patrick Dixon an international lecturer on Global Trends at the launch of BT Openworld stated that In the meantime expect demand for broadband to be huge and potentially overwhelming Broadband will be a must-have for every medium-sized business and every home-worker who is computer-based1 Interactivity is the clear future and the Internet was the key instigator American Internet users who already make up the largest worldwide Internet usage spend as much as 106 hours online every week2 The first advancement of a broadband system came in the form of ISDN Integrated Services Digital Network It was able to provide end-to-end digital connectivity over a standard telephone network It had speeds up to 128 kbitss provided by two 64 kbits channels which were known as the B-channels It had one 16 kbitss channel called the D-Channel which could be used for standard voicefax communication This allowed the B channels to retain their full data bandwidth 56kbitss and let users continue to use the phone and the Internet at the same time3 ISDN could be installed in most business locations around 96 within the UK4 This meant that it was a highly practical solution for many businesses One of the major advantages of ISDN was that using a router many machines could be connected to the ISDN server BT launched a version targeted at the home user BT Highway along with other telephone companies such as NTL and Cable and Wireless5 This major disadvantage of the service was that it was very expensive to both set-up and run Also customers still had to
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