Thursday, October 29, 2009

Broadband providers

How do you define "broadband" as it relates to an Internet connection? If you look on Wikipedia, you'll see that "broadband internet" is "a high data rate Internet access—typically contrasted with dial-up access using a 56k modem." So, almost everything we see is now considered broadband since very few people actually still use 56k modems. Back in my AOL days, I used to have a 56k modem. I still remember all those dial-up Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like NetZero, Earthlink, Juno, CompuServe, and others. Remember those?

Now, we don't even have a phone line in our house. We use fiber optic FIOS and if that ever goes down, I pull out my smartphone. I use my smartphone to tether and get broadband internet connections when I'm traveling or when I'm not in Wi-Fi range. If I'm in a Wi-Fi hot spot, then I'll usually turn on the Wi-Fi antenna. But, if I'm not in a hot spot, then I'll pull out my smartphone and get online.

My colleagues in the UK use service providers like Orange and Vodafone. Some even use T-Mobile (but not to be confused with T-Mobile USA). Over the past few months, I've had the opportunity to learn about Internet and mobile phone providers in Europe. If you're ever looking for an unlocked GSM phone that isn't available in North America, look at these international mobile phone providers.

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