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10IPT: Physical Transmission Concepts

posted Mar 18, 2013, 1:35 PM by Eddie Woo   [ updated Mar 18, 2013, 6:43 PM ]
After looking at a variety of communications technologies from a very high-up perspective, we're now going to dig down deep into the details of things happening on the physical layer - or the 'lowest' part of the communications system framework, the transmission level. This will be the first of three lessons we spend looking at this level. Today's tasks relate to the basic transmission of data along a physical medium.
  1. Describe what is meant by a 'ping'.

  2. Define the acronym 'bps' and outline how it can be used to estimate how long a file will take to download.

  3. Find an internet speed testing website (such as 
    • Use it to measure the school's upload and download speeds. (Put your results down here.) 
    • Explain why different testing websites produce different results, and why even the same website can produce many different results.
    • Estimate how long it will take to download a test file. Then test your hypothesis!

  4. Define 'baud rate', and illustrate the different ways that a single baud can use different signals to represent data.

  5. Distinguish between the popular use of the word 'bandwidth' and its actual technical definition, then account for the different ways of using the word.