Bandwidth gives you an indication of the speed capabilities of your broadband connection. This speed is measured in kilobits per second (Kbps). Old dial-up modems have a maximum data rate of 56 Kbps. Broadband services begin with data speeds of 512 Kbps. These speeds cannot be guaranteed as the connection will more than likely be shared with other people.
Traditionally, broadband is sold on a ‘’contended’’ basis (subscribers have to share a pipe – usually, 50:1 or 20:1), so when it’s busy, the actual available capacity fails.
‘’Uncontended’’ broadband, however, still does not mean a guaranteed minimum. Typically, peak usage will settle at a level depending on exact activity and amount of traffic. If traffic consistently exceeds the capacity of a node or circuit, the broadband service will have to be upgraded.