Federal Internet Law & Policy
An Educational Project
Comparison of Broadband Rates Dont be a FOOL; The Law is Not DIY

| Broadband | Computer III | Wireless | Glossary of Terms |Telephony | Broadband Applications | Tiers and Data Caps |

< 56 kbps
Point to Point
Circuit Switched Service.
Plain old telephone service.  FCC does not require minimum bandwidth; service providers are not obligated to provide a minimum level of bandwidth over POTS.  Some state PUCs may require a minimum level of service.  Analog service that requires analog modems. See ISPs; [Profprofs] [Daycom] [CSGNetworks]
ISDN 64-128 kbps
Point to Point
2 B channels used for transmission - 64 kbps

1 D channel for control 16 kbps

Circuit switched service.
Requires ISDN modems or terminal adapters.
May be available where DSL is not.  Has greater range than DSL. [Profprofs (almost obsolete)] [Lara] [Daycom] [Wikipedia] [CSGNetworks]


Upload may be via alternative path such as dial up or it may be via satellite (more expensive) at rates such as 150 kbps.  Generally requires line of site to satellite. [Daycom (6 mbps)] [Wildblue 12 Mbps down)] [ThinkBroadband]
xDSL Various
256 kbps to 15 Mbps
Point to Point over copper pair
Packet Switched Service
Carriers traffic between user and central office.  Requires DSL modem on user end and DSLAM at the Central Office to split voice and packet data - voice goes to PTN and packets go to packet network.  From the DSLAM, traffic might go to an ATM cloud or it might go to point.  Service is available within a limited range (ie., one mile, 1800 feet) of the Central Office.  Utilizes frequencies over copper wires above voice service.  Offered by ILECs and CLECs; multiple services possible in single market. SDSL = synchronous speed up / down; ADSL = asynchronous speeds; IDSL = works up to 30,000 feet. [Profprofs][Daycom (128 kbps to 8 mbps)] [Wikipedia]
aDSL 8 - 52 Mbps
T1/DS1 1.544 Mbps Point to Point
Copper or fiber
Typically business line service [Profprofs] [Lara] [Daycom]
ISDN PRI 1.544 Mbps

E-1 2.05 Mbps

aDSL 6.1 Mbps Down
640 Kbps Up
FTTC TDM, ITU G.992, with TWP subloop
T2 6.312 Mbps   [Profprofs]
WiFi 802.11b 11 Mbps   []
Cable (DOCSIS) Various
Coax Cable shared network to headend See Open Access Debate. [Profprofs] [Daycom (512 kbps to 20 mbps)] [Wikipedia (discussing throughput of Docsis 3)]
T3  DS3 45 Mbps Point to Point
Short distance over coax. [Profprofs] [Daycom (44.736 Mbps)] [CSGNetworks]
OC1 52 Mbps   [Profprofs] [Daycom (51.58 Mbps)] [Wikipedia (sonet)] [FiberOptic Marketplace] [CSGNetworks]
WiFi 802.11a & g 54 Mbps   []
vDSL 55 Mbps Down
640 Kbps Up
FTTC TDM, ITU G.992, with TWP subloop
TDM, ITU G. 992, with TWP and Coax Subloop (1.5 Mbps up)
BPON 100 Mbps down
3 Mbps up
OC3 155 Mbps   [Daycom (155.52 Mbps Optical fiber)] [Wikipedia (sonet)] [FiberOptic Marketplace] [CSGNetworks]
ATM 155 - 600 Mbps   backbone service. [Profprofs] [Lara]
WiFi 802.11n 300 Mbps   []
OC12 622 Mbps   [Wikipedia (sonet)] [FiberOptic Marketplace] [CSGNetworks]

622 Mbps down
155 Mbps Up

FTTH ATM, Standard ITU G.983
EPON 1 Gbps down
622 Mbps Up
FTTH Ethernet, IEEE 803.3ah
aDSL 1 Ghz down
6.1 Mbps Up
FTTC With TWP and Coax Subloop, TDM, G.992
OC24 1244 Mbps   [Wikipedia (sonet)] [FiberOptic Marketplace] [CSGNetworks]
OC48 2488 Mbps   [Wikipedia (sonet)] [FiberOptic Marketplace] [CSGNetworks]
GPON 2.5 Gbps Down
622 Mbps Up
FTTH Ethernet, IEEE 802.3ah
OC192 10 Gbps
[Wikipedia (sonet)] [FiberOptic Marketplace] [CSGNetworks]
OC768 40 Gbps
[Wikipedia (sonet)] [FiberOptic Marketplace]
Frame Relay 56 kbps - 44 Mbps Point to Multi Point
Packet Switched Service
Transport of traffic between pop and pop.  Access to the pop must otherwise be provisioned.  Access multiple locations via single interface. .
ATM Cell Relay 1.5 Mbps - 155 Mbps Point to Multi Point
Packet Switched Service
Transport of traffic between pop and pop.  Access to the pop must otherwise be provisioned.  Access multiple services
Packet Switched Service

Combination of frame relay and circuit switched service.  Designed for ISPs.  Traffic aggregated at frame relay POP, then connects to ISP.
OC3072 159 Gbps   [FiberOptic Marketplace]

Broadband Applications

How much bandwidth do I need?
The bandwidth required for specific applications is a great way to understand what applications are currently feasible and what applications need more bandwidth.

Application Required Bandwitdh
Electronic Banking Minimum: 40Kbs Ideal: 400Kbs*
Telegaming Minimum: 40Kbs Ideal: 600 Kbs*
Home Shopping Minimum: 40Kbs Ideal: 1.5Mbs to 7Mbs*
Electronic Newspapers Minimum: 40Kbs Ideal: 2Mbs*
Low Quality Audio 56 kbps ***
Video Telephony Minimum: 70Kbs Ideal: 200Kbs*
VoIP 90 kbps ***
VoIP: Per Call Bandwidth Consumption, BosCom
Voice Over IP - Per Call Bandwidth Consumption, CISCO
Calculating VoIP Bandwidth Consumption, Network Observations (May 20, 2008)
Audio on Demand Minimum: 110Kbs Ideal: 700 Kbs *

Low Videoconferencing

0.384 Mbps MPEG-4**
Minimum: 110Kbs Ideal: 800Kbs * ~
6 mbps ***

Teleworking Minimum: 110Kbs Ideal: 1.5Mbs to 7Mbs* ~
Tele or E-Learning Minimum: 110Kbs Ideal: 1.5Mbs to 7Mbs*
TeleMedicine Minimum: 110Kbs Ideal: 1.5Mbs to 7Mbs* ~
FCC Definition of Broadband 200 kbps [Sec. 706]
Near Video on Demand Minimum: 1Mbs Ideal: 1.5Mbs to 7Mbs *
Video in Window (YouTube) 1.5 mbps MPEG-1[** ] [***]
Movies on Demand Minimum: 1Mbs Ideal: 1.5Mbs to 7Mbs*
Digital Television Minimum: 1Mbs Ideal: 7Mbs (Canada Broadband Task Force)
VHS Quality Full Screen 1 to 2 mbps MPEG-2 **
Broadcast NTSC 2 to 3 mbps MPEG-2 **
Broadcast PAL 4 to 6 mbps MPEG-2 **
Professional PAL 8 to 10 mbps MPEG-2 **
Broadcast HDTV 12 to 20 mbps MPEG-2 [**] [***]
DVB Satellite Multiplex 28 to 40 mbps MPEG-2 Transport **
Professional HDTV 32 to 40 mbps MPEG-2 **
Contribution TV 34 to 50 mbps MPEG-2-I **
Contribution HDTV 140 mbps MPEG-2-I **
Raw NTSC 168 mbps uncompressed **
Raw PAL 216 mbps uncompressed **
Raw Contribution PAL 270 mbps uncompressed **
Raw HDTV 1000 to 1500 mbps uncompressed **

*Source:  TechNet Broadband Primer Jan 2002
** Source:
*** "High-Speed Services for Internet Access as of June 30, 2006," Industry Analysis and Technology Division, Wireline Competition Bureau, Federal Communications Commission

Links and Sources

  © Cybertelecom ::