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Cable Internet

Cable Internet creates an Internet access service which, when viewed generally rather than
specifically, has many similarities to DSL. Like DSL, cable Internet takes full advantage of
existing cabling, using the existing cable TV (CATV) cable to send data. Like DSL, cable
Internet uses asymmetric speeds, sending data faster downstream than upstream, which
works better than symmetric speeds for most consumer locations. And like DSL, cable
Internet does not attempt to replace long leased lines between any two sites, instead focusing
on the short WAN links from a customer to an ISP.

Cable Internet also uses the same basic in-home cabling concepts as does DSL. Figure 3-17
shows a figure based on the earlier DSL Figure 3-16, but with the DSL details replaced with
cable Internet details. The telephone line has been replaced with coaxial cable from the
CATV company, and the DSL modem has been replaced by a cable modem. Otherwise, the
details in the home follow the same overall plan.
Free CISCO CCNA Routing and Switching ICND1 Study Guide
Figure 3-17 Wiring and Devices for a Home Cable Internet Link
On the CATV company side of the cable Internet service, the CATV company has to split
out the data and video, as shown on the right side of the figure. Data flows to the lower
right, through a router, while video comes in from video dishes for distribution out to the
TVs in people’s homes.

Cable Internet service and DSL directly compete for consumer and small-business Internet
access. Generally speaking, while both offer high speeds, cable Internet typically runs at
faster speeds than DSL, with DSL providers keeping their prices a little lower to compete.
Both support asymmetric speeds, and both provide an “always on” service, in that you
can communicate with the Internet without the need to first take some action to start the
Internet connection.

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