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Broadband vs DSL vs Internet from cable TV provider

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
As many know I currently have dial-up internet.
DSL from AT&T is not available to my home.
I could get internet from the local cable TV provider but today I found out my cellphone company (a regional one) is starting residential broadband which I have to find out if it can be carried to my location. Their website says
The connection speed is comparable to DSL (400-700kbps), which is about 15 times the speed of a dial-up connection.

So which is the one to choose the broadband ($40/month) or the cable tv provider one (unknown cost) ?
post #2 of 22
I'd check out the cable provider. We had DSL 1000 from our phone company, which was pretty slow, though far better than dial-up, of course, and rather expensive. We've just switched to cable broadband, and pay €29 ($37) a month for 20 MBit/s (20,000 kbps) and a national flat rate for our phone.

You can check out the speeds and ISPs in your area at this site: http://www.speedtest.net/global.php?...ry=1&region=74
post #3 of 22
I have cable internet with the local tv/internet/phone provider. I'm happy with it for the most part. If you have cable tv already, it might be a little cheaper that way.

But check the other company out, too, simply call and ask.


The only problem I have with my ISP is that they did away with their usenet servers. Most people don't even know what these are, so I doubt many of their customers miss it.


If you don't have cable tv. Is your house prewired for it? If not, they will have to do that, they'll have to come out and change some splitters and filters either way.
post #4 of 22
Generally Cable broadband service is faster than DSL broadband. But, if you're using dial-up, anything will be significantly faster. I'd go with what you're comfortable with. However, the cellphone service sounds new, and it might be better to go with a service that's established (DSL or Cable) at this time.
post #5 of 22
One other thing I completely forgot, and people may not be aware of, so far those cell companies as an ISP are more protective of their clients - take Verizon as a very well known example. Cable companies, like Comcast, and more likely to throttle down your connection and throw you to the sharks.

Always read user agreements and research the company. Here I get to go with the local cable company or SBC which would be the worse of the two.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
I contacted my local cellphone provider who looked for the closet tower which is about 2 1/2 miles away but it doesn't have the needed technology. The CSR suggested I stop in at one of their retail outlets to look at the map of towers to see what else is nearby. They have a 30 day free trial period.

We do have cable TV (which according to the website listed above was the fastest speed) service on our road however we do not have it nor is our house wired for it. I would prefer not to use them as when the cable tv service started in my area a few years ago there was a very pushy salesman who well lets say didn't make my day. In addition our house is a bit off the road and due to the layout probably would be a bit of a challenge to wire.

So I guess for the time being dial up stays.
post #7 of 22
If you don't have cable going into your house, what's the policy these days? Are they going to charge you a small fortune to bring it from the nearest pole to your house?

I think Jade had a good point. When you're dealing with technology, it's probably not a really good idea to go with a new service. Their techs will be learning on their first customers, not to mention finding the bugs and getting them out.
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
If you don't have cable going into your house, what's the policy these days? Are they going to charge you a small fortune to bring it from the nearest pole to your house?
That probably depends on the cable company. Ours doesn't charge anything for bringing cable into the basement of the house. The extra work needed for the cable phone/Internet modem took about an hour, and we could either have that (usual cost €69 = $89) done for free, or have three months of service for free. They even threw in a digital TV receiver, as our TV is a couple of years old and analog, so we weren't getting the digital-broadcast-only channels (the country isn't going completely digital until 2010).

I'd be a bit sceptical about Internet service via cell phone towers. I have it for my PDA, and it works fine in some areas, and is extremely slow in others. At peak times of day, e.g., around noon or after 6:00 p.m., I sometimes don't even get a connection.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
We have several power poles on the right of way on our property-the closet one is about 150 feet away. But our power lines are buried underground so these would have to underground and any way you look at it hardscaping in in the way of getting the line into the basement of our house. Either a patio or steps. If the company wants to avoid this then the septic system is in the way. Or use another power pole then the driveway is in the way. Its just not an easy shot to the house.
post #10 of 22
Oh, wow. That's tough. Have you looked into satellite internet? I don't know hardly anything about it other than it's available. There seem to be quite a few providers; here's one I found by just googling:

http://www.wildblue.com/

If I remember the broadband is only download; upload is via dial-up. But unless you're actually uploading files, you don't have much going in that direction anyway.
post #11 of 22
Satellite is expensive. My in-laws thought about trying it out until they found out the average month payment would be over $80, not including any fees for equipment.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
When one of the AT&T techs came here last winter when I was having phone line problems he said he has satellite and was paying $75/month.
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
Satellite is expensive. My in-laws thought about trying it out until they found out the average month payment would be over $80, not including any fees for equipment.
You also have to take into consideration that with Satellite, there's a high latency. The traffic you send back and forth DOES have to go through space. It's definitely not as fast as DSL or Cable.
post #14 of 22
^I know that. DH plays games online so satellite is completely useless for us. My main issues is what one is expected to pay for a sub par connection of that type.


$75 is still high considering the speed one gets with it. Is that with the fee for the equipment, without it, or will you be required to purchase it all outright? My cable is 3mb down (not the smallest package) - we pay $65 per month with the modem rental.
post #15 of 22
I work for a phone company and will only offer my opinion here. If the technologies come your way, chose in this order:

1) DSL from a wireline phone company.
2) Cable TV - the download speeds are good, but the upload speeds can be very slow. You are competing with your neighbors for bandwidth, so if a lot of people get on at the same time each day, your speeds can drop (a lot). Also, cable companies are not required by regulatory policy to keep their network to the high level of standards that a telephone network has. Think how many times your cable service goes down versus how many times your home phone goes down.
3) Satelite based broadband - the latency issues are not all that bad, but what concerns me more about it is the lack of security. Think about it - your uploads and downloads are going thru the air. Anyone can pick them up. While the data is supposed to be encrypted, any good hacker can get at your information. If you have this, never, ever, ever order anything online where you have to enter in a credit card or bank information.

And on that line, a home wireless network can also be picked up by your neighbors if you live in a residential neighborhood. I know people who have dialed into a wireless connection at home and went thru their neighbors network.

I hope this makes sense.
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
If the technologies come your way, chose in this order:

1) DSL from a wireline phone company.
2) Cable TV - .... Think how many times your cable service goes down versus how many times your home phone goes down.
Cable - maybe once every other year
Phone - maybe once in five years
Not really a statistically significant difference
Quote:
3) Satelite based broadband - the latency issues are not all that bad, but what concerns me more about it is the lack of security. Think about it - your uploads and downloads are going thru the air. .
Really an excellent point and why I don't have a wireless home network. My laptops picks up my neighbors and if I was any sort of a decent hacker I could probably get in.

Mom, you listed negatives for #2 and #3 but didn't really say why #1 gets your top choice; anything else besides the downtime?
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
Mom, you listed negatives for #2 and #3 but didn't really say why #1 gets your top choice; anything else besides the downtime?
I pick #1 because of the negatives of 2 and 3. And personally, if you get yourself on a wireline broadband network, the speeds are absolutely amazing. I'm running off a packet based switch with IP capabilities and fiber to the end of my subdivision. My speed is in terms of multiple megs per second both up and down. You'll never get that with cable. And I should add that I know the type of equipment that cable companies use in their networks and it just isn't as stable as that of telephone companies. The FCC mandates telephone companies because of E911. You have to keep that network up. And other than a few special devices in the network, your DSL runs over the same equipment as your phone service.

And sorry if I just spoke too much telephone company speak!
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
My speed is in terms of multiple megs per second both up and down. You'll never get that with cable.
Oh, I dunno. I get 3.5 MBs when I check using one of the speedometer sites. My service is standard service. Roadrunner offers 7 MBs premium home service for a higher price. That's download, of course. Upload is the usual. But how much traffic is upload? Just a tiny percentage in normal web browsing.

Frankly, I think once you get above a couple Megs, the extra speed is just overkill. The biggest bottleneck is the server. All that extra speed does no good when you spend most of your time waiting for the host server to respond, not to mention all the legs from router to router your packets have to bounce back and forth between. Above a certain point the speed at the client end becomes mostly idle time.

Mom, I'm sorry, I mean no disrespect to you personally, I'm sure you're filled with zeal for your product, but honestly, I've SEEN telephone company hardware, and when you say DSL runs "over the same equipment as your telephone service" I find that kind of scary. I know what kind of antiquated junk is behind those faded green panels, because I've stood behind the service repairman watching, and listening to him tell me about it. We had a tremendous windstorm here about 10 years ago which took out many trees along with power, telephone and cable. The cable company was out in the streets the next day long before they were cleaned up and before the day was out had all new fiber optic strung. Before the power came back and the telephone service came back online.

I'd like to see some real competition to the cable companies as much as you or anyone else; they've been screwing us for years as a monopoly. But it's just quite that time yet. At least not around here.
post #19 of 22
I have Time-Warner Cable, and they go with Road-Runner as their internet, I like it and It works well on my computer.. I have a Windows ME computer.. so its still slow.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
3) Satelite based broadband - the latency issues are not all that bad, but what concerns me more about it is the lack of security. Think about it - your uploads and downloads are going thru the air. Anyone can pick them up. While the data is supposed to be encrypted, any good hacker can get at your information. If you have this, never, ever, ever order anything online where you have to enter in a credit card or bank information.
We had that hughes net, and the smallest of cloud coverage in our area made our internet go down.
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
Frankly, I think once you get above a couple Megs, the extra speed is just overkill.

Mom, I'm sorry, I mean no disrespect to you personally, I'm sure you're filled with zeal for your product, but honestly, I've SEEN telephone company hardware, and when you say DSL runs "over the same equipment as your telephone service" I find that kind of scary. I know what kind of antiquated junk is behind those faded green panels, because I've stood behind the service repairman watching, and listening to him tell me about it. We had a tremendous windstorm here about 10 years ago which took out many trees along with power, telephone and cable. The cable company was out in the streets the next day long before they were cleaned up and before the day was out had all new fiber optic strung. Before the power came back and the telephone service came back online.
Just a couple of points in response. Not arguing your points, just clarifying your points:

For high speed overkill - it all depends on what you do from your home. Both DH and I work in IT and often work from home. We wouldn't be able to do it without that speed. And DH runs a web site from home where he frequently uploads large volumes of data. There are days when our speed isn't fast enough.

Antique phone equipment - Absolutely there are portions of that infrastructure that is old. If you live in a rural area, you can bet they are running you on old equipment. But the cable infrastucture was build to deliver TV, not broadband services, so their equipment has been repurposed. And if you live in a rural area, you probably don't have cable service because they won't bother building out there.

Time to restore service - all bets are off with disaster outages. Telephone companies have huge footprints in service areas, where cable providers have a smaller area to cover. Cable companies for the most part have buried cable, where phone companies lines are often overhead and more easily affected by disasters. When a huge area goes out, there's simply an exponentially larger area and more equipment to fix.

My zeal isn't because I work for a phone company. I've lived in rural and semi-rural areas for the last 17 years where cable isn't offered which ticks me off that I don't even have that option. And I've seen how both industries have grown since the onset of broadband services, with the disparate FCC policies applied to them. Even if didn't work in the industry, I would side with a company who is the underdog in the fight. The FCC has stacked the deck against phone companies.
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
The FCC has stacked the deck against phone companies.
That's probably payback for years of monopolistic arrogance before the break-up. That being said, I think the country has NOT been well-served by the break-up. Monopolies are the best way of delivering service in some cases.

I guess the DSL vs. cable choice is one of those YMMV issues.

There's a new technologically for delivering digital content called multipoint something-or-other. Are you familiar with that and what are your thoughts on it? Could it be used to deliver both digital video and broadband internet?
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