A broadband local area network transmits outbound signals in an outbound frequency band and inbound signals in an inbound frequency band. In one configuration, the network comprises a central hub and a plurality of nodes connected to the hub. Each of the nodes comprises a bidirectional amplifier having a fixed gain across the entire inbound and outbound bandwidth and a line balancer. The line balancer includes a variable cable simulator circuit for simulating the loss of a variable amount of coaxial cable and an equalizer circuit for equalizing the loss of a fixed amount of coaxial cable. The network also includes a plurality of remote outlet clusters. Each remote outlet cluster is connected to one of the nodes by a coaxial transmission path and comprises a fixed attenuation and a RF splitter having a plurality of outlets for connection to user devices. The number of outlets of each remote outlet cluster depends on the length of the transmission path to the node to which it is attached.