'Broadband' is the general term used to refer to high-speed information transmission over networks, and nowdays is used incrementally to mean a fast Internet connection.
The term has more to do with the electrical waveform ('signal') being transmitted. The signal can come to you through a variety of physical arrangements: a DSL line, a T1 line, a TV cable, a wireless link and even your utility power line.
Which physical arrangement is best for you depends a great deal on what is available in your geographical area and the price of each arrangement. You should do a comparison of speeds and costs and choose what is optimal for you. Just be sure you do not choose an ISDN line (because it is getting obsoleste) or power line (because the technology is not mature, and it will be some years before the bugs are ironed out).
Live in a large city and want free wireless broadband Internet? Your wish is or will be granted! Almighty Google is busy fixing antennae to lampposts in major cities so that your computer can access the Internet much in the same way mobile phone accesses your cellular network: almost anywhere in any city. Not only will you get driving directions to that restaurant you are going to, the maitre d 'will appear on a small screen and take your order as you drive.
~ Broadband's Bag of Goodies ~
Broadband has brought a slew of valuable capabilities to the Internet:
1. Good Video
First of all, you can download smooth, non-jerky video. Consequently an increasing number of sites are including rich graphics, Flash and video to enhance the appeal of their messages. You can now download feature films from over 200,000 Web TV stations and watch them as they stream into your computer ("stream them"). No more trips to the video library and no more renting DVDs!
You can share your screen and talk with co-workers located at far-flung locations (or just relax and play Xbox or PS2 games with them). You can interact with them from the convenience of your home computer, and the need for a physical office can be dispensed with. This impressions less travel in your car, less gasoline consumption and less pollution of the atmosphere by engine exhaust gases.
You can search online video archives with specialized search engines. This means you can download video that matches your chosen phrases. Examples would be "Nick Lachey singing 'My Everything' to Jessica Simpson", "Oprah visiting Katrina victims" or "how to toss a thin pizza shell". There is no longer a need to wait for your subject to be broadcast.
2. Cheap Long Distance
Broadband has enabled miracle of low-cost long-distance Internet telephony. This application is based on the revised technology, VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). You can now speak to your loved ones or business associates in most other parts of the world for 2 cents a minute!
No more waiting for late nights or weekends to get those "free minutes" … you can afford to call anytime. Additionally, the sound clarity is several times better than that of a conventional phone call … voices are loud and clear with little or no background noise.
This means you can stay in touch more often. You can get news faster and offer advice without delay. For instance, a timely observation about a certain medical treatment could very well save the life of the person at the other end!
3. Always On
With Broadband, you are always connected to the Internet. No more dialing up and waiting to connect. The dialing time is freed up for you to use for other things.
In most cases, you get a telephone connection with the broadband connection, so you can simultaneously speak on the phone and surf the Internet. Your phone line will not be busy when you surf so that people can reach you even if you are online.
One important user of this constant connectivity is security. You can have inexpensive webcams mounted in various locations of your home or office and connect them to the Internet. Since your broadband connection is always 'live', you can monitor your house from anywhere, anytime. No more worrying when away from your desk or living room!
~ Conclusion ~
The day is not far when dial-up connections will be a rarity. If you have not yet upgraded to broadband, start working at doing so NOW. You will definitely not regret it.