What is Narrowband?
Narrowband is a term used to describe an Internet connection speed that is most commonly associated with a dial-up connection. Using phone lines and transmitting over voice-grade frequencies, the highest effective speed a connection can provide is approximately 56k, which is 56,000 bits per second. While many Internet users today may remember much slower speeds in the late 1980s and early to mid 1990s, the maximum speeds achieved through a narrowband connection pale in comparison to what is available today. Even the slowest broadband speeds are usually five times faster than narrowband. In some locations around the world, especially in developing nations, narrowband is still the standard. However, many Western European nations are ahead of the United States in terms of the percentage of Internet users connecting using broadband. In the United States, narrowband was the undisputed most popular choice for Internet connections until 2006. That year, J.D. Power and Associates reported that