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Cable v/s DSL, redeux

posted Apr 25, 2010, 10:22 AM by Allen Gattis
Quite a while ago, I compared Cable internet and DSL to see which was the better value.  Back then, DSL won on both  quality and cost. DSL was cheaper, offered the same peak speeds and much better consistency in uptime and throughput (3 mpbs all the time, no competing with the neighbors for capacity and no outages over two years that I measured).

But  the landscape has changed. While DLS has stayed flat in price and speed, cable has gotten cheaper and faster. DSL remains $35 for 3 mbps, cable internet has dropped from $50 to $35, and the speed has gone up from 3 mbps to 5 mbps. 

However, the real question remains; what do you really get for your money? Is cable internet really better?  

The answer is yes. It now is better in terms of consistency of speed and uptime, as well as peak speeds. In fact, peak speeds are greatly in excess of the advertised bandwidth (up to 9 mbps) and throughput is consistently at or higher than the 5 mbps advertised. And  no outages, as cable internet here was famous for in the past.

So winner round two: Cable Internet.

A side note

Getting cable internet was the hard part. I called for a new installation.  My house was not in the database. Engineering had to survey it. I was in the database. No I wasn't. This went on and on for two months. It took three tries to get an work order to stay in the system to have my house added to the provider's database. They just disappeared and work order numbers vanished. The state was wrong. etc. It took another month to get schedule. 

They don't do this very well.