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DSL v/s Cable

posted Jan 1, 2010, 6:39 PM by Allen Gattis   [ updated Jan 4, 2010, 7:14 PM ]
If you are 'on-call' you need decent internet access. A modem is all you need for terminal access but as UIs are becoming more GUI, it's getting harder. The university recognizes this and is providing stipends for access.
Between DSL and cable, DSL is usually the better choice these days. Cable can have higher peak though-put, but at peak usage times is usually slower than DSL because you have to share with everybody else on the block. DSL also costs less. DSL also enjoys less latency, so is better for Real-Time traffic.

Bruce Tong ran them both side-by-side for a few days, and I've run both serially. DSL used to be the slower choice, but Verizon must be improving their wiring as it's now the way to go.

{edit - Cable has now passed DSL in price per peak speed, costs less and latency is comparible. Bruce is using cable and I am switching soon. Plus the Uni is dropping it's stipend program citing it's cost)


Verizon is the local DSL provider, but they actually two entities; the wiring company, and the ISP. There are two numbers to call. The cable shop is M-F, 8-6. The ISP has longer hours. For having the best customer service in the business, there sure are a lot of hurdles. You can say 'agent' at any time I'm told. Internet: 800-567-6789
  • Local Service --
    • Billing: 800-483-3000
    • Repairs: 800-483-1000
    • Orders : 800-483-4000
    • Dry-Loop Service: 866-338-8841
    • Circuit Repair: 800 483 2000 option 2
    You can can also use Frognet, or theoretically any ISP.

    Important Note If you don't have a voice line, you have what is called a 'dry-loop'. Verizon doesn't know how to handle these very well yet. You have to call Circuit Repair. You also need to know your Circuit ID. Otherwize, you'll be shuffeled from Dept to Dept for an hour.

    Time Warner Road Runner

    I cannot get Road Runner to call me back. Seems I'm not in their database of residences, and I cannot get the local office to do a drive by to confirm my address exists.

    Guess we'll see