Internet - Current Developments

The Internet is continually developing, and in recent years some of the major developments have been:

•   broadband
•   wireless network
•   mobile Internet.


Broadband offers much faster transmission speeds, compared with standard telephone links. Broadband provides a broad bandwidth to carry more information for a given time period.

Transmission is generally via telephone line or cable network. Electricity suppliers can also offer broadband communications. Instead of using the telephone network to carry Internet information, electricity companies use their high-power transmission lines. This is known as broadband by power lines (BPL).

Bandwidth is the measure of the capacity of the communications channel that is used to transmit data. Bandwidth can be expressed in one of two ways:

•   range of frequencies
•   transmission rate (or line speed).

Range of frequencies

Data is transmitted by using varying electrical frequencies. The number of waves per second is a measure of frequency (Hertz).






The graphs show transmission frequencies of 3 Hz and 12 Hz. A high frequency allows more data to be transmitted per second. The Internet uses transmission frequencies of at least 3 KHz. Broadband frequencies are in excess of 300 MHz.

For the Internet user, transmission rate is a more useful measurement of bandwidth.

Transmission rate

Transmission rate (or speed) is the number of bits that can be transmitted per second. Most modems give a transmission speed of 56 Kbps. That is, your modem and communications channel can send and receive 56,000 bits per second.

Broadband offers transmission rates of 512 Kbps or more (i.e. more than 10 times faster than a standard modem).

Wireless network

A wireless network uses radio or microwave transmissions to interconnect computer systems. Each system needs a wireless network interface card, which is used to send and receive information.

If the wireless network is to be connected to the Internet, then one of the computer systems must be used to create an access point, which allows multiple devices to share the same Internet connection.

Mobile Internet

Over the past few years, the use of mobile phones has proved very popular. One of the major developments has been the transmission of text messages using SMS – Short Message System.

Modern mobile phones have LCD screens that can display text and graphics. These mobile phones can now be connected to the Internet by means of WAP – Wireless Application Protocol. Mobile Internet applications allow the user to receive the usual Internet services, up-to-date news, weather and traffic information, and local information, e.g. cinemas, taxis, restaurants and cafés.

Find out about Bluetooth - click here.

Find out about VoIP - click here.

Download and complete Worksheet 8.






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