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The History And Rise Of The Broadband Internet

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The birth of what we now called 'Broadband Internet' is an interesting story. That begins in 1962, when the US government were looking into ways that they could communicate with missiles and bombers, after a nuclear attack. The research was developed and it seemed the most appropriate way of doing this was via packet switching. Packet switching is the way information is sent across in packets of information, and then the receiving computer checks to make sure all the packets have been sent successfully.

However initially this was only available over limited networks and was later renamed (APRAnet) Advanced Research Projects Agency. However this technology could only transmit data across similar networks and further research was developed and the TCP/IP (Transfer Control Protocol, Internet Protocol). With the introduction of fast LAN (local area networks) and Satellite technology allowed the US to communicate with Europe, however this was still in its infancy, and was only limited to Government and private agencies.

With Universities now getting involved in this exciting new technology, and with the advancement of computer technology, in 1979, Usenet was formed which introduced the storage of data and forwarding on to other users. Then in the late eighties the network technology that transferred the data packets increased in speed, and a T3 line, which could transfer speeds of upto 45mpbs!.

What was referred to as Narrowband or dial-up networking, was finally released to the general public in 1992, this was when the world-wide-web was announced and the launch of public accessible information, however the speeds were quite limited and could only achieve a speed of upto 14.4 kbps, which was later increased to 28.8 and then 56k modems. These modems had to be physically connected to the phone line and had to be connected to the users land-line connection, meaning the users could not receive telephone calls unless a separate line was set-up. Buying a website was not cheap and domains could cost in the excess of $50 per domain.

With this exciting development was the birth of many ISP's (Internet Service Providers) who provided the network technology. However the current technology Ipv4 only allowed 3-4 billion people to connect to the internet. And with over 6.5 billion people and the birth of mobile phone technology which could also access the internet, Ipv6 was introduced.

What we now called Broadband Internet was first introduced in the UK in 1997. With speed of upto 512Kb, (in selected areas) and cable technology available in very limited areas, the internet became a way of processing information quickly and downloadable material via p2p and share sites was introduced. However as speeds started to increase to 2mbs so did the ability to download illegally obtained, music, movies and TV shows. To combat this many Broadband providers brought in fair usage policies. These limited the amount a user could download, or set optimal download speed to off peak times. The music and film industries felt these protocols did not go far enough, and instead they looked to put more of there material online for a set fee. This brought about the ability to watch film trailers, listen to music, swop video's, embrace in online communities and the network world we now know and love.

Neil Maycock writes articles for Broadband Providers [http://www.broadbandproviders.co.uk]
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