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The bandwidth of an ISP determines how much data it can move. If you think of data as water, an ISP's bandwidth is based on the size of its pipes. The top speed of an ISP is set by its bandwidth, but other factors can affect its actual speed. In particular, load will impact its raw speed and latency will impact its perceived speed. ISP bandwidth is usually measured in Mbps (megabits per second), but is often advertised based on its connection type (T1, T2, T3, T4, etc.)
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|