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Broadband Cable Internet Access

Cable television providers have been delivering TV programming for years and have a very large user base in North America along with growing numbers in the rest of the world. Cable access television (CATV) providers have addressed the growing broadband market by roviding cable modems that use the existing coaxial connections for high-speed data communications. A CATV network is designed and used for one way (upstream) cable TV distribution. But with an upgrade of the system, it is possible to allow signals to flow in both directions hence allowing data transfer capabilities. This is again much cheaper than laying dedicated fiber lines to the home/office and is ideal for Internet and telework use.

One major drawback of cable modems is that they are a shared medium. Unlike DSL where your line goes directly to a switch on the DSLAM in a central office, the cable uses a shared network as it gets out of your home. This means that your data travels in a shared medium and is therefore transfer speeds can be adversely affected during peak usage. It also means that unlike DSL, service providers cannot guarantee the quality of service or transfer rates. On the other hand, broadband cable has a higher overall data capacity and is not affected by the distance constraints of DSL. In the North American case, a high cable density leads to a much bigger market for broadband cable than for DSL, broadband satellite or ISDN.

Cable modem connections can be easily shared amongst multiple users on a LAN with the addition of a cheap broadband router.