Gary Rima - TKI
(Public Guest)
01/22/07 06:07 AM
Re: DSL woes


I think the issue with cable may be the amount of resources the company is willing to dedicate to the service since it comes at the expense of other services. It's nothing that can't be overcome with good management, but I do think it takes more management to get consistent cable service then consistent DSL service.

First of all, just to be clear, I'm not arguing at all with the good experiences you and Joe Budge have had with your DSL. There are obviously good and bad experiences out there with both cable and DSL. But I don't think cable is inherently harder to manage than DSL service. Again, with DSL, the "aggregation point" is simply moved *very* slightly upstream - to the far end of the few thousand feet of copper wire connecting you to the CO. OTOH, that old twisted pair connecting you to the CO is much lower bandwidth *generally* than the neighborhood cable installation delivering tens or hundreds of video channels. The telcos have always focused heavily in their marketing on the fact that that twisted pair is dedicated to you, vs being shared with cable - which in reality doesn't mean anything at all, but sure manages to confuse a lot of consumers.

As for cable having to dedicate resources that would otherwise be available for other services - the internet data essentially occupies one "channel" on your cable infrastructure. All the normal cable channels and whatever signal they're delivering are unaffected. I put the "channel" in quotes, because without going off and looking it up, I'm not positive if the frequency "slice" being used for internet is the same width as a normal TV channel or if its a wider "slice." But once you've "sliced off" that frequency range, its essentially dedicated to the internet signal and doesn't affect the much broader range of signals delivered at different frequencies for all the TV signals on the cable.

*If* conditions are perfect, cable generally delivers higher *potential* speeds. At the moment, in Dallas, Time Warner Cable has internet packages up to 10Mb, while SBC/AT&T's best DSL speed availability is 6Mb. That generally mirrors the situation in most large metro areas. BUT, in any given instance, its certainly possible that a local DSL provider may provide better service than a local cable provider (or vice versa, of course.) And of course, no matter what your nominal speed, there are many other factors too - my current service is 8Mb, and I find there are VERY few websites that are capable of "feeding" me a full 8Mb of download speed.

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