To explain, in simple terms, what broadband is, it may be useful to use the analogy of our roads system.
People will be familiar with how motorways are built as ‘backbones’ throughout the country to carry large volumes of traffic at relatively fast speeds, whereas ordinary roads provide local access for people to move from their homes, businesses or other centres and connect with the motorways.
Broadband is to data transfer what a motorway is to a road. The fibre optic broadband cable being installed in Limerick will provide the means to move information and other data in big volumes and at high speeds to recipients around Ireland and all over the world. As with the local roads analogy, private telecoms companies need to connect Limerick users to this telecoms ‘backbone’ by offering local access networks and services which enable people to avail of ‘always on’ and ‘real time’ connections, thus completing the ‘last mile’ or ‘local loop’ as it is often called.
Example: Downloading a typical musical album from the Internet in MP3 format illustrated below also shows the power of broadband (a typical album is 60 Mb in size):
|Internet Connection Type||Typical Data Rate||Time to download album|
|Telephone Dialup||56 Kbs||143 Minutes|
|Broadband||Over 2 Mbs||Under 4 Minutes|