Broadband internet access

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A broadband internet access (also broadband access , broadband connection ) is an access to the Internet at a relatively high data transfer rate of a multiple of the speed of older access technologies such as the telephone modem - or ISDN dial-up , which, unlike the narrow-band techniques are called. Originally broadband was used to designate a form of implementation of data networks, which is now out of date, so that the term is now used in a way that has no meaning. There has been strong growth in the market for broadband access in many areas since the early 2000s.


So far there has been no generally accepted threshold value as to the data transmission rate at which the broadband connection begins. In particular, this value is constantly increasing due to the further development of communication technology.


Telephone network

One of the most widespread techniques works with improved use of the copper lines in the telephone network, as the existing infrastructure means that fewer new investments are required. First and foremost, the DSL technologies used should be mentioned. However, there are or have been other approaches, such as the development of faster telephone modems or a faster ISDN standard, broadband ISDN (B-ISDN).

DSL technologies are only suitable for bridging short distances, which - depending on the DSL technology - makes it necessary to switch to another transmission technology, a DSL amplifier or a repeater after a few hundred meters or just a few kilometers. Therefore, it is usually a hybrid technology in combination with, as in most cases, fiber optic cables or, for example, radio links . With increasing transfer rates, the transfer point moves closer and closer to the end user. Another possibility for broadband data transmission over telephone lines is to bundle several analog or ISDN lines, which was mainly used temporarily or is still being used in the absence of DSL.

ISDN primary rate connection

The primary rate connections are available in different versions: as T-carriers, such as T-1 / DS-1 , T2, T3 , as E-carriers or optical carriers. These technologies are comparatively expensive options for broadband Internet connections via copper or fiber optic cables, which are set up for business customers and similar users with larger networks.

Cable television network

Cable modems are used to modulate the data onto the analog signals of the cable television network and are thus transmitted over these coaxial cables . Here too, for reasons similar to DSL, it is usually a hybrid technology. The DOCSIS 3.1 standard enables data rates of up to 10 Gbit / s in the downstream and 1 Gbit / s in the upstream to be achieved. In Germany, around 30.1 million households (as of the end of 2015) are connected to broadband access via the cable network. Since the network is also available in many smaller communities, the technology offers good conditions for connecting sparsely populated areas.

Frequency ranges used

In practice, Euro-DOCSIS 2.0 uses the frequency range from 30 MHz to 42 MHz for the upstream (return channel), Euro-DOCSIS 3.0 from 30 MHz to 65 MHz and Euro-DOCSIS 3.1 from 15 MHz to 30 MHz z. Currently used, frequencies from 450 MHz upwards for downstream, with television channels and the Internet sharing this upper frequency band. The upper limit depends on the network expansion and was not specified in DOCSIS. In modernized cable networks it is 862 MHz, but often only the ranges up to 640 MHz or even only 470 MHz can be used. As the cable length increases, the upper limit of the usable frequency spectrum decreases due to attenuation, which can only be remedied by more segmentation of the networks into further head-end stations or hubs. The bandwidth of the upstream is v. a. limited by the input noise from the distributed antenna sockets and by the fact that a more robust, less efficient modulation method is used in the transmission direction. The frequency range from 5 MHz to 20 MHz is avoided for this reason.

The total bandwidth for Internet access is often around 1 Gbit / s per head station.

Direct fiber optic connection

Connecting the end customer directly via fiber optics enables high data rates (more than 1000 Mbit / s) over long distances. The necessary relocation of new connections to each customer requires high investment costs and is mainly operated in densely populated areas such as large cities. At the end of 2010, fiber optic connections had been laid to around 300,000 households in Germany, around a quarter of which were marketed. By 2014, the number of households with an active internet connection via fiber optic rose to around 450,000.

Electricity network

By means of carrier frequency systems (TFA) internet access can use the electricity network can be realized, even under the English term Power Line Communication (PLC) is known. In most cases, data connections between domestic sockets and transformer stations or similar devices are implemented, which are connected centrally via fiber optics or radio relay.

Terrestrial radio technology

In many places - especially where conventional cable technology is not available - wireless Internet access providers are setting up so-called Wireless Metropolitan Area Networks (WMAN) in order to be able to offer fast Internet access. Different technologies are used, including the specially developed WiMAX standard, WLAN technologies and various radio-based individual solutions. More or less broadband data services can also offer mobile radio standards such as LTE , HSDPA , UMTS or EDGE . 5G was activated from 2019 .

Under special conditions, packet radio from the amateur radio sector can also be included. This means that transmission rates of up to several megabits per second can be achieved and corresponding transfer points can enable access to the Internet. However, use is reserved for radio amateurs .

Internet access via satellite

Pure satellite connections (two-way satellite connections) are available practically everywhere on the earth's surface, regardless of the landscape or other infrastructure, and are therefore particularly suitable for remote areas and ships. Problems with satellite access are the still significantly higher costs for hardware and the high latency times . In the example of a system with geostationary satellites, typical delays of 500–700 ms result, which seriously disrupts real-time applications. The technology enables transmission rates of 20–30 Mbit / s and more. The capacities in Germany are limited to a few 10,000 simultaneous users, but are to be expanded (as of 2009).

Soaring aircraft

Radio signals for services such as television broadcasting, mobile telephony and internet access can be transmitted via soaring stationary airships. An example of an implementation of this technology is called Stratellite . Another approach would be high-flying unmanned (light) aircraft such as Helios .


In industrialized countries in particular, broadband access is developing into the predominant type of access to the Internet, which at the same time is increasingly required by Internet applications for meaningful use. At the end of 2006, there were 17 broadband connections for every 100 inhabitants in the 30 OECD countries, with technology for

  • 62% of the connections used DSL ;
  • 29% of them were cable connections ,
  • 7% direct fiber access and
  • 2% were realized using other techniques.

In the spring of 2008, 80% of households with Internet access in the EU had broadband access. The EU Commission has expanded state support for broadband network expansion. In 2010, more than 1.8 billion euros in public funds were approved for this. In 2016, internet penetration was 89%. Despite the high level of investment, Germany ranks 25th in a global comparison of Internet speed with 14.8 Mbit / s. In comparison, the average transfer rate in South Korea is 26.1 Mbit / s.

77% of German households have a private Internet connection, 93% of which are broadband connections. DSL technology dominates here. Of the 28 million broadband connections in 2012, 82% were DSL connections. As a form of broadband access, TV cables are playing a growing, but currently only minor role in Germany (approx. 16% of broadband connections), unlike in the USA or Austria; there, DSL and TV cable are about equally often wired forms of transmission.

In 2015, the German federal government decided to provide broadband funding of 4.5 billion euros. Less than two percent of this was accessed by 2019. One of the reasons for this is a lengthy and complicated funding process.

Broadband divide

If there is no adequate supply of broadband access, one speaks of a broadband gap. It is considered part of the digital divide or digital divide . The broadband atlas of the Federal Ministry of Economics gives an impression of the supply situation in Germany. Some federal states are reacting to this situation by setting up broadband competence centers in order to provide the municipalities concerned with a neutral point of contact. A broadband demand atlas comes from the community of interest, which shows the specific demand. Interested parties can enter their broadband requirements and bandwidth requirements in these.

Various state, civic and partnership (PPP) initiatives are committed to counteracting the undersupply at the state level, throughout Germany and Europe. However, not all consider the same instruments suitable for quickly bridging the broadband divide. One access option in rural areas can be broadband access via satellite , which is now a serious offer.

In order to ensure nationwide coverage of broadband Internet access, broadband access with 600 kbit / s in reception and 100 kbit / s in transmission will be part of the basic service catalog in Switzerland from 2008 . Australia has been pursuing a similar supply goal with the Australian Broadband Guarantee since 2007. In France, the France Très Haut Débit initiative was launched in 2013 , under which all connections across the board are to be converted to very high data rates (> 30 Mbit / s) (80% of which) by 2022 with fiber optic connections ). At the end of 2013, the average transmission rate was 8.7 Mbit / s. In Japan and Finland, every citizen should be provided with broadband and 90 percent with high-performance Internet by 2011. The US is planning initiatives to improve availability.

See also


  • Georg Erber: Area-wide provision of broadband connections . In: DIW weekly report 37/2007, 549–554.
  • Georg Erber: Broadband coverage in Germany: facing the future? In: Oekonomenstimme August 22, 2014.
  • Georg Erber: Softened: Broadband coverage from the coalition agreement to the digital agenda . In: DIW weekly report 35/2014.
  • Remco van der Velden: Competition and Cooperation on the German DSL Market - Economics, Technology and Regulation . Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2007. ISBN 3-16-149117-3 ISBN 978-3-16-149117-7

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Explanations of the Federal Statistical Office on broadband connection. ( Memento of the original from November 14, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. RTR Telekom Monitor 4/2016 - PDF document (see page 71) at RTR , dated December 7, 2016
  3. ^ Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan
  4. FCC: Only 25 Mbit / s is now a broadband connection in the USA ,, January 30, 2015
  5. Broadband definition of the Korean government ( memento of the original from January 28, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. according to the Welsh Government Broadband Portal (  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. Number of broadband connections in the fixed network in Germany from 2001 to 2015 (in millions) April 2016
  7. a b c d Broadband strategy of the federal government. ( Memento of the original from March 3, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, February 2009, p. 25 (PDF, 555 kB)  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8. Cable Internet Technology - How does Internet work via a TV cable connection?, accessed December 8, 2013
  9. a b c Cable modem technology (TV cable network). Entry at, accessed on December 8, 2013
  10. Internet access via cable connection. Entry at, accessed on December 8, 2013
  11. Achim Sawall: Little progress in fiber optic expansion in Germany., February 9, 2011
  12. [1], 2015
  13. Roger Braun: The new 5G cellular standard could erode fiber optics. In: . January 27, 2019, accessed May 30, 2019 .
  14. ^ Spread of broadband internet access in the OECD industrialized countries
  15. EU: More than half of EU citizens use the Internet ,
  16. Commission facilitates expansion of the high-speed Internet ( Memento of the original from September 9, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Press release of the European Commission of January 20, 2011 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  17. Internet speed: Germany on place 25th March 14th 2017, accessed on June 19th 2017 .
  18. Annual report 2012. Federal Network Agency, p. 76
  19. Annual report 2012. Federal Network Agency, p. 76
  20. List of the worldwide distribution of broadband connections 2011. ( Memento of the original from December 14, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. World Bank, quoted by the Federal Statistical Office.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  21. Alexander Jung, Christian Reiermann, Marcel Rosenbusch, Michael Sauga, Gerald Traufetter: Money-constipation . In: Der Spiegel . No. 37 , 2019, pp. 67 f . ( online - September 7, 2019 ).
  22. Study warns against opening “broadband scissors”. Heise online, March 27, 2008
  23. Broadband atlas of the BMWi
  24. ^ Lower Saxony broadband initiative: Lower Saxony broadband competence center
  25. The nationwide broadband demand atlas of the community of interests
  26. ^ Initiative of the "New Media" clearing office of the state of Baden-Württemberg Broadband information portal
  27. Interest group
  28. Initiative against digital divide.
  29. Resolution of the European Parliament of June 19, 2007 on the development of a European broadband policy. European Parliament
  30. ^ Bridging the Broadband Gap.
  31. StarDSL is now offering Internet via satellite with a return channel.
  32. Filiago brings Internet via satellite with a return channel.
  33. Australian Broadband Guarantee. ( Memento of the original from July 19, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  34. Article VDI Nachrichten
  36. Très Haut Débit website. ( Memento of the original from April 11, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /