(computers/Internet) The data transmission capacity of an electric communications channel or connection. The more bandwidth, the more data can be transferred in a given period of time. Bandwidth is measured in bits per second (bps). The technical definition of bandwidth refers to the difference between the highest and lowest frequency that a connection can transmit and is measured in hertz (Hz) or cycles per second. The greater the difference between these two values the more data can be sent in a given period of time. Bandwidth differs greatly depending upon a number of factors. LANs (local area networks) as used in many office environments are much faster than WANs (wide area networks) such as dial-up modems, DSL and T1-3 lines as used in most Internet connections. The following chart gives a sampling of bandwidth for the most common network configurations.
WAN Connections Bandwidth
Switched Services
Dial-up modems 9.6, 14.4, 28.8, 33.6 and 56 Kbps
ISDN BRI 64-128 Kbps
PRI 1.544 Mbps
Unswitched Private Lines
T1 1.5 Mbps
T3 44.7 Mbps
DSL 144 Kbps to 52 Mbps
LAN Connections Bandwidth
Ethernet (10 BaseT) 10 Mbps
Fast Ethernet (100 BaseT) 100 Mbps
Gigabit Ethernet 1,000 Mbps
Token Ring 4, 16 Mbps
ATM 25, 45, 155, 622, and 2,488 Mbps+.

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