By definition, "broadband" means multi-channel and analog, while "baseband" is single-channel and digital. Is broadband also digital these days? Or is it just a case of sending digital data over analog signals?

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There are many definitions of "broadband," for example:
IEEE 802.16 defines broadband as "Having instantaneous bandwidths greater than around 1 MHz and supporting data rates greater than about 1.5 Mbps."

SearchNetworking's explains broadband this way: "Because a wide band of frequencies is available, information can be multiplexed and sent on many different frequencies or channels within the band concurrently, allowing more information to be transmitted in a given amount of time."

In other words, "broadband" is commonly a reflection of how fat the pipe is, not whether the pipe carries analog or digital data.

This was first published in April 2003

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