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It just doesn't seem to make sense to use the term "width" to describe a rate, but maybe that isn't even right. The common thing you hear now is that you may be limited to a total amount of data downloaded which isn't a rate at all, volume is a better way to describe what is being called bandwidth.

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closed as off topic by David, Linker3000, Hello71, grawity, slhck Jul 24 '11 at 15:23

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This question does not meet the requirements outlined in the FAQs. Here is a quote that directly talks about this type of question in the FAQs: "You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page." – David Jul 24 '11 at 15:00
Pop over to the Wikipedia article on bandwidth as it explains things well. – Linker3000 Jul 24 '11 at 15:04
Not particularly true that this question is "off topic" -- it's okay to ask about terminology, but the question should have rather been closed as "not constructive". – slhck Jul 24 '11 at 15:36

It comes from signal processing, where the width of the frequency band used determines how much information can be sent per unit of time.

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