The History of Broadband

The Beginning

Let's start with a very brief look at the history of the Internet as it drove the development of Broadband technologies. Some suggest that we need to start way back in the 1950's, when the US Military were researching methods for better communication networks. This ultimately led to a project called "ARPANET" in the late 1960's by the United States Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA). The idea of this was to create new networking technologies to allow research centers and universities to link to each other. However, it wasn't until a group headed by Steve Crocker in the 1970's developed a protocol called TCP/IP that the Internet really began its journey, as we know it today. TCP/IP is the backbone protocol of the Internet, which is basically just a network of computers and servers. You can consider it as a language that all the parts of the network use to talk to each other.

Internet Availability

Fast forward to the mid 1980's, bypassing lots of development, and now the Internet was ready for everyone else. Even though it was ready there was no means for consumers to use it (other than universities, research centers and military establishments).

The birth of "dial-up" allowed residential users to get "connected". This helped gain popularity for the Internet, but suffered from two major downsides; it was painfully slow and you needed a dedicated phone line to connect. Push the fast forward button again and we are in the early 2000's when Broadband really started to become available to consumers. This breathed a whole new life into the Internet and was the beginning of a whole new growth era.

Enter Broadband

Since the early 2000's Broadband has gone from strength to strength, and available speeds have become faster and faster. Initially it was slow to take off due to the few companies that provided the service and the high cost to the consumer. As Internet Service Providers (ISPís) grew, so did the competition. As the competition grew, the prices started to drop which helped it become affordable to the consumer causing a huge growth in home users.

As more and more ISPs appeared it became a buyers market. By the mid to late 2000's there were more people using Broadband service in their homes than there are using dial-up service.

Today and Beyond

With the Internet growing at exponential rates and more and more software applications becoming available, such as digital photos, downloading music, downloading movies, and online gaming with people you have never even met, the future for Broadband appears very bright. Not only is it growing in the home but for business use also. More and more businesses are utilizing it to help their growth and it has almost become a must utility service. There are even solutions for hotels and vacation resorts so people can stay in touch while away from home. Our children are growing up in an age where Internet use is commonplace, just like the wireless radio or television were commonplace to some of us when we were growing up.

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