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Tech Perspective: Cable modems vs. DSL

By techperspective ·
Cable modems and DSL are competing for domination in the high-speed Internet access market. If you're working from home or a small satellite office where T-1 or frame relay isn't available, you know that quality of service (QOS) is just as importantas price. According to Gartner, xDSL architecture is clearly superior to cable in terms of QOS. But if cable service is your only option, you shouldn't necessarily write it off.

Do you use cable modems or DSL for business remote access? What havebeen your experiences with it? Are you happy with your service? What complaints do you have? How important is QOS to you? Do you have a service-level agreement with your provider? If so, what does it entail?

You can read the related Gartner article, which will be posted 3 A.M. Monday, at
http://www.techrepublic.com/article.jhtml?id=r00220010212ggp01.htm

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Tech Perspective: Cable modems vs. DSL

by Debunker In reply to Tech Perspective: Cable m ...

DSL is great when it works. When it doesn't work, mean time to repair is measured in days instead of minutes. It usually results in the Telco, the DSL provider, and the ISP all blaming each other. Many times, the problem is intermittent and difficult to isolate. There's a good reason why most ISPs won't write QoS terms into your agreement - - even mentioning the term "QoS" around some DSL reps will result in peals of laughter. The moral of the story: If you install DSL, plan on installing a backup access method (like ISDN) at the same time.

The observation that cable modem service is sporadic because of shared bandwitdth is not a big issue for most businesses at the moment, since this problem is usually seen evenings/weekends during peak residential usage. During the day, there is usually a surplus of bandwidth. But as with DSL, getting fast response during outages is not a realistic expectation (although mean time to repair is better than DSL).

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Tech Perspective: Cable modems vs. DSL

by techperspective In reply to Tech Perspective: Cable m ...

Your answer was featured in our TechPerspective TechMail. To receive your free subscription to the TechPerspective TechMail, sign up at
http://www.techrepublic.com/techmails.jhtml

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Tech Perspective: Cable modems vs. DSL

by brianclark44 In reply to Tech Perspective: Cable m ...

DSL QoS is a myth. Sure, you get guaranteed QoS between you and your ISP, but what happens then? It is a bandwidth game these ISP's play. If your ISP doesn't have the back-end bandwidth to support their client base, then your QoS to them is meaningless.

These big cable providers have deep pockets, and can spend money on the necessary infrastructure. We choose cable over DSL when we can. But, even in the Chicago marketplace (where we are) we often don't have the choice.

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Tech Perspective: Cable modems vs. DSL

by techperspective In reply to Tech Perspective: Cable m ...

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Tech Perspective: Cable modems vs. DSL

by jone In reply to Tech Perspective: Cable m ...

I generally agree with the assesment.

It is possible to design a bad network with either technology.

One important thing, is that you are limited by your proximity to the central office with DSL, but with cable, the limit is where they choose to build out. It would be interesting to see a map overlay of the difference between the two. (Of course this is probably considered proprietary information) If the cable companies are smart they will concentrate their buildout in the suburban (read higher income) areas that DSL can't currently reach.

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Tech Perspective: Cable modems vs. DSL

by techperspective In reply to Tech Perspective: Cable m ...

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Tech Perspective: Cable modems vs. DSL

by wirehead In reply to Tech Perspective: Cable m ...

As cable becomes a media that can support a business over a broad interstate area, it will beat DSL. Most of the DSL manufacturers are losing money. Some units are poorly designed; if the unit powers down, it loses its IP address. Other units have thermal problems. Others can't be manageed by a NMS.

Installing DSL is tricky. Voice coils have to be removed and DSL is subject to AM interference. Bridge taps can also cause problems. Trying to run a DSL network on 30 year old copper wiring isn't a good idea.

Soem of the RBOCs like SBC are replacing copper wire with fiber. The CLECs won't be able to offer DSL service on these lines becuase DSL requires copper. In the long haul, DSL will lose out as copper is replaced with fiber.

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Tech Perspective: Cable modems vs. DSL

by techperspective In reply to Tech Perspective: Cable m ...

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Tech Perspective: Cable modems vs. DSL

by cgiglio13 In reply to Tech Perspective: Cable m ...

I do not have extensive experience with cable modems, but as far as DSL is concerned, I think it stinks. Our company purchased 2 DSL lines from Verizon and we have (at best) a 50% chance of them being up and usable.

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Tech Perspective: Cable modems vs. DSL

by techperspective In reply to Tech Perspective: Cable m ...

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