June 16, 2006 9:43 AM PDT

DSL strikes a chord with frugal shoppers

Related Stories

Can DSL handle success?

February 6, 2006

AT&T brings new low to DSL prices

February 3, 2006

Bells slash prices to lure broadband customers

August 23, 2005
A new kind of digital divide is emerging in the U.S. broadband market.

On one side are middle-income and price-sensitive households, which tend to favor DSL service offered by phone companies. On the other are more affluent families, which gravitate toward higher-speed cable modem services.

According to a recent report published by Leichtman Research Group, about 21 percent of households earning an annual income of between $30,000 and $75,000 a year subscribe to DSL. About 18 percent of these households subscribe to cable. By contrast, 37 percent of all households with annual household incomes over $75,000 subscribe to cable broadband and 27 percent subscribe to DSL.

"Clearly price is much more important at this point in the game," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group. "Middle-income families making the jump from dial-up to broadband are much more price-sensitive, and clearly the phone companies' messaging on low-priced DSL has gotten through loud and clear."

A year-and-a-half ago, pricing of DSL and cable modem service was roughly the same. But over the past year, the phone companies have launched an aggressive assault by dropping prices. At the end of 2005, the average price of DSL service was about $32 per month, roughly $9 less than cable, according to research firm IDC.

AT&T has twice lowered the price of its DSL service and now offers its 1.5Mbps service for $12.99 for the first year. Since AT&T's prices are promotional, after the first year, the price of the service jumps to the company's regular pricing model, which is $29.99 per month. Verizon created a new tier of service, which includes 768Kbps downloads, for $14.95 per month.

Price pressure
Regardless of household income, the promise of lower prices has also convinced some cable subscribers to switch to DSL. Dan Spencer, 38, of Norristown, Pa., had been a Comcast broadband subscriber for over three years. But after he realized his family was paying over $100 per month for high-speed Internet access and TV service, he decided to abandon Comcast for EchoStar's satellite TV and Verizon's DSL service.

"My wife usually pays our bills," he said. "But one day, when I saw how much we were paying Comcast for our cable TV and broadband, I was shocked. It was outrageous."

Spencer said he now pays about $75 per month for TV and Internet access, and he estimates he is saving roughly $45 per month over what he was paying for the Comcast service.

The low cost of DSL has kick-started DSL subscription rates, helping DSL providers increase their total customer base by 39 percent in 2005, according to Forrester Research. Verizon alone signed up 613,000 new high-speed Internet subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2005, a record for the company. It continued the strong growth in 2006, having signed up 541,000 new subscribers in the first quarter.

But the phone companies' success hasn't meant the demise of cable, which in total saw broadband subscriptions grow 21 percent in 2005. In fact, cable companies have also set new records in recent quarters for the number of subscribers they've acquired.

CONTINUED: No price war--yet…
Page 1 | 2

See more CNET content tagged:
DSL service, DSL, household, Comcast Corp., subscriber

152 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
Its more than price...
I have several co-workers and friends with Cable internet, and they are always going down. Their speed spikes and drops, and sometime it just doesn't work. I have DSL from a former company where I worked and helped develop the deployment strategy for DSL. I have had it since 2000, being one of a handful of beta tester, and have only had the service go down on my 3 times. And each time its was the Ma-Bell and not my ISP.

Note: this does not include hurricanes where EVERYTHING is down. Who cares about Internet when there is no power. :)
Posted by umbrae (1073 comments )
Reply Link Flag
More than price
Here in NE Ohio, the cable service is great, doesn't go down for us. The speed is always around 4.5 - 4.8 Mbps.

I don't really care about the DSL prices, I can't stand local phone companies, doesn't matter who they are. Sprint/Embarq is local here, but whether them, SBC/AT&T, Verizon, they all screw people over on their phone prices. Plus, I regularly download large files, iso images of linux distros & such. DSL speeds top at 3Mbps, compared to standard cable at 5Mbps.

On top of that, DSL services demand a 1-2 year contract, no thanks, they can shove their contracts. I'll stick to Earthlink cable via Time Warner with the basic $14.95 Vonage plan in case I need something other than my cell phone.

For my needs, DSL can't compare.
Posted by jsmith1785 (30 comments )
Link Flag
My cable is solid
I have a cable modem and the service is solid. The DSL and Cable networks are inherently different, and if the company in question doesn't address some of the issues with cable then you can certainly see some of the issues you are talking about (slows way down when everyone on your block is using it) but I have to say I've had very good luck with my cable modem service. It's gone down three times in the last year. Once was due to a hardware failure (a construction crew demolished their main line, a huge fiber optic cable... there was an article the next day in the newspaper about it) and it was down ~24 hours. The other two were due to electrical storms (I'm guessing because I live a few blocks from the main servers and both of the other outages were during big lightning storms) and lasted about 4 to 6 hours. Still, a few hours downtime once every 4 months is not bad in my experience.
Posted by drfrost (467 comments )
Link Flag
It really is more than just price
Here in AZ it's Qwest for DSL and Cox/Comcast for cable. The cable companies want to charge business level pricing, $125/month, if you VPN back to work. According to them that's not residential usage as defined by them. In addition they block various ports. DSL on the other hand has no restrictions. I can run a VPN, SMTP or web server and not be charged extra. In addition when the local university is in session my neighbor gets about 128Kb downstream from Cox cable due to the network design they have implemented, yet my DSL is unaffected.
Posted by steveb7 (2 comments )
Link Flag
DSL has better upstream
If you want a connection that actually works well both ways then DSL is the way to go. It really out does cable when it comes to uploads. If you download a lot of torrents, ftp files to web servers or use a lot of upstream bandwidth then this is really important. Another problem with cable for bandwidth intensive users is it has unspecified bandwidth caps while decent DSL tends to be unlimited. If your into testing out web services or seeding torrents then cable is pretty useless.

But either way, most Americans are getting ripped off when it comes to broadband serverices when family households in Japan are getting 10 to 100Mbit FIOS service for $25 to $50 per month.
Posted by Akiba (220 comments )
Link Flag
Its more than price...
I have several co-workers and friends with Cable internet, and they are always going down. Their speed spikes and drops, and sometime it just doesn't work. I have DSL from a former company where I worked and helped develop the deployment strategy for DSL. I have had it since 2000, being one of a handful of beta tester, and have only had the service go down on my 3 times. And each time its was the Ma-Bell and not my ISP.

Note: this does not include hurricanes where EVERYTHING is down. Who cares about Internet when there is no power. :)
Posted by umbrae (1073 comments )
Reply Link Flag
More than price
Here in NE Ohio, the cable service is great, doesn't go down for us. The speed is always around 4.5 - 4.8 Mbps.

I don't really care about the DSL prices, I can't stand local phone companies, doesn't matter who they are. Sprint/Embarq is local here, but whether them, SBC/AT&T, Verizon, they all screw people over on their phone prices. Plus, I regularly download large files, iso images of linux distros & such. DSL speeds top at 3Mbps, compared to standard cable at 5Mbps.

On top of that, DSL services demand a 1-2 year contract, no thanks, they can shove their contracts. I'll stick to Earthlink cable via Time Warner with the basic $14.95 Vonage plan in case I need something other than my cell phone.

For my needs, DSL can't compare.
Posted by jsmith1785 (30 comments )
Link Flag
My cable is solid
I have a cable modem and the service is solid. The DSL and Cable networks are inherently different, and if the company in question doesn't address some of the issues with cable then you can certainly see some of the issues you are talking about (slows way down when everyone on your block is using it) but I have to say I've had very good luck with my cable modem service. It's gone down three times in the last year. Once was due to a hardware failure (a construction crew demolished their main line, a huge fiber optic cable... there was an article the next day in the newspaper about it) and it was down ~24 hours. The other two were due to electrical storms (I'm guessing because I live a few blocks from the main servers and both of the other outages were during big lightning storms) and lasted about 4 to 6 hours. Still, a few hours downtime once every 4 months is not bad in my experience.
Posted by drfrost (467 comments )
Link Flag
It really is more than just price
Here in AZ it's Qwest for DSL and Cox/Comcast for cable. The cable companies want to charge business level pricing, $125/month, if you VPN back to work. According to them that's not residential usage as defined by them. In addition they block various ports. DSL on the other hand has no restrictions. I can run a VPN, SMTP or web server and not be charged extra. In addition when the local university is in session my neighbor gets about 128Kb downstream from Cox cable due to the network design they have implemented, yet my DSL is unaffected.
Posted by steveb7 (2 comments )
Link Flag
DSL has better upstream
If you want a connection that actually works well both ways then DSL is the way to go. It really out does cable when it comes to uploads. If you download a lot of torrents, ftp files to web servers or use a lot of upstream bandwidth then this is really important. Another problem with cable for bandwidth intensive users is it has unspecified bandwidth caps while decent DSL tends to be unlimited. If your into testing out web services or seeding torrents then cable is pretty useless.

But either way, most Americans are getting ripped off when it comes to broadband serverices when family households in Japan are getting 10 to 100Mbit FIOS service for $25 to $50 per month.
Posted by Akiba (220 comments )
Link Flag
When are wireless & power line broadband coming online?
That should get prices down.
Posted by ordaj (338 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Testing
Both of those are still in testing phases in the US. You have spectrum allocation issues with Wireless that need worked out.

As for BoP, there is an issue with Ham Radio that needs to be addressed. The issue has presented that there needs to be more research done into what frequencies are being affected. Ham Radio still has a large place in disaster situations.

There are numerous reports of Ham Radio "buzzing" in the test locations for BoP, this brings up worries that it may interfer with emergency response communication systems.

Hopefully they can get both of these worked out quickly so we can have real competition.
Posted by schubb (202 comments )
Link Flag
Current Communications Broadband BPL in Manassas going for 10 mbps upload
Check their website:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.current.net/WatchTheVideo/" target="_newWindow">http://www.current.net/WatchTheVideo/</a>

Read more about Global Broadband over PowerLines updates especially about ham-friendly BPL technology !!!
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://broadbandoverpowerlines.blogspot.com/" target="_newWindow">http://broadbandoverpowerlines.blogspot.com/</a>
Posted by 200mbpsBPL (102 comments )
Link Flag
wireless is already here,
in some areas at least, with more on the way, but
in many cases it's not very "broad".
Powerline broadband still sounds like pie in the sky
due to all the technical problems.
Posted by Jackson Cracker (272 comments )
Link Flag
When are wireless & power line broadband coming online?
That should get prices down.
Posted by ordaj (338 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Testing
Both of those are still in testing phases in the US. You have spectrum allocation issues with Wireless that need worked out.

As for BoP, there is an issue with Ham Radio that needs to be addressed. The issue has presented that there needs to be more research done into what frequencies are being affected. Ham Radio still has a large place in disaster situations.

There are numerous reports of Ham Radio "buzzing" in the test locations for BoP, this brings up worries that it may interfer with emergency response communication systems.

Hopefully they can get both of these worked out quickly so we can have real competition.
Posted by schubb (202 comments )
Link Flag
Current Communications Broadband BPL in Manassas going for 10 mbps upload
Check their website:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.current.net/WatchTheVideo/" target="_newWindow">http://www.current.net/WatchTheVideo/</a>

Read more about Global Broadband over PowerLines updates especially about ham-friendly BPL technology !!!
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://broadbandoverpowerlines.blogspot.com/" target="_newWindow">http://broadbandoverpowerlines.blogspot.com/</a>
Posted by 200mbpsBPL (102 comments )
Link Flag
wireless is already here,
in some areas at least, with more on the way, but
in many cases it's not very "broad".
Powerline broadband still sounds like pie in the sky
due to all the technical problems.
Posted by Jackson Cracker (272 comments )
Link Flag
neither thank you
How'd you like that comcast "we are consumer friendly" response! She's touting that $99 package like its a value just below the article where the guy talks about cutting his costs from $100 to $60. I love it!

Cable can keep their fast connections. I refuse to fill their pockets with my hard earned cash just so they can "open the spiggot" a little more for us thirsty people. The way I look at it, they should be paying me to connect. Let them collect from the companies that are benefitting financially from internet sales (etc).
Posted by BengalTigger (36 comments )
Reply Link Flag
They provide a service
If it's not worth the money they charge for it then don't get it (which is what you are basically saying). It's worth the money to the me. I spend a lot of time online and I need a lot of bandwidth with low latency. Well worth the money in my opinion.
Posted by drfrost (467 comments )
Link Flag
neither thank you
How'd you like that comcast "we are consumer friendly" response! She's touting that $99 package like its a value just below the article where the guy talks about cutting his costs from $100 to $60. I love it!

Cable can keep their fast connections. I refuse to fill their pockets with my hard earned cash just so they can "open the spiggot" a little more for us thirsty people. The way I look at it, they should be paying me to connect. Let them collect from the companies that are benefitting financially from internet sales (etc).
Posted by BengalTigger (36 comments )
Reply Link Flag
They provide a service
If it's not worth the money they charge for it then don't get it (which is what you are basically saying). It's worth the money to the me. I spend a lot of time online and I need a lot of bandwidth with low latency. Well worth the money in my opinion.
Posted by drfrost (467 comments )
Link Flag
Switched from Cable to DSL...
Because my monthly cost dropped from $45 to $15 (for the first year anyway).

Supposedly the cable was faster, but in day-to-day use I can't really tell much difference.
Posted by open-mind (1027 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Switched from Cable to DSL...
Because my monthly cost dropped from $45 to $15 (for the first year anyway).

Supposedly the cable was faster, but in day-to-day use I can't really tell much difference.
Posted by open-mind (1027 comments )
Reply Link Flag
There is competition amongst cable companies
There is also wow cable here:

www.wowway.com

I am sick of Comcast's high prices and network
outages. Their DNS servers seem to go out also
on a regular basis. They seem to be pricing
themselves out of the market.
Posted by Johnny Mnemonic (374 comments )
Reply Link Flag
sounds good
Too bad WOW! is only available in three states.
Posted by Jackson Cracker (272 comments )
Link Flag
There is competition amongst cable companies
There is also wow cable here:

www.wowway.com

I am sick of Comcast's high prices and network
outages. Their DNS servers seem to go out also
on a regular basis. They seem to be pricing
themselves out of the market.
Posted by Johnny Mnemonic (374 comments )
Reply Link Flag
sounds good
Too bad WOW! is only available in three states.
Posted by Jackson Cracker (272 comments )
Link Flag
Naked DSL vs DSL
Every time I tried to buy DSL they tried to force me into buying a phone line, my unlimited cell plan at $55 is all the phone I need. Cnet please do an article on naked DSL!! Until then it's 60 bucks to comcast. It still might be cheaper for the 1st year to get the DSL but after the year, It's not, it's the same price a distincition the artilce doesn't make.
Posted by saleen351 (36 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Naked DSL vs DSL
Every time I tried to buy DSL they tried to force me into buying a phone line, my unlimited cell plan at $55 is all the phone I need. Cnet please do an article on naked DSL!! Until then it's 60 bucks to comcast. It still might be cheaper for the 1st year to get the DSL but after the year, It's not, it's the same price a distincition the artilce doesn't make.
Posted by saleen351 (36 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Cable still has one fundamental problem
That problem is that it is now, and always will be, a shared medium. That is a major drawback. Network administrators (when they have a choice between DSL and cable) will always go with DSL. It is no fun when you are called at 8:00pm to remote into a data center only to have your available neighborhood bandwidth hogged by the kid next door downloading porn. This does not happen with DSL.

It used to be that DSL speeds were far slower than cable but that is changing. At the moment, DSL speeds (for the majority of possible DSL connections offered) are about equal. Some cable markets are rolling out 20+Mb/s service and some are even higher. But the same problem will always come back and that is the shared medium. All that bandwidth means nothing when the cable comany oversells the area or little Johnny next door decides to upload 10GB of videos of him playing his XBox.

If you really want reliable broadband service that is not affected by your next door neighbor's surfing habits, go with DSL.
Posted by thenet411 (415 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Central Office connections can also result in the same "shared medium" prob
True but don't forget that your DSL circuit ends up a DSLAM at a CO. At the CO your DSLAM must interface with your ISP's FR or ATM network and that is a weak link. I have had instances where too many circuits were homed in to a CO but the interface to the ATM data network was a T-1!!! Talk about shared and over subscription.

I still favor DSL but must be naked (no dialtone)for me to make the move back from cable.

FYI I worked for an independt ISP that provided DSL in the late 90's - early 00's and used your argument to get people to switch :)

-Metro305
Posted by metro305 (3 comments )
Link Flag
Urban Myth
Um, sorry to say but thats an old stratagy and now an urban myth (unless your cable company is living in the dark ages). Now, most cable companies use node management and QOS to make sure that the average bandwidth stays the same. I live in a middle class neighborhood where I know there are plenty of people on the cable network (my computer that has an extended wireless antenna picks up about 8 wireless connections besides mine, and the ones I logged into are on cable) and my speed stays around 8.5 MBps (9MBps service for 54.95). My uploads are always around 900 KBps.

DSL speeds however are always varried depending on where you live. Sure, they only offer you what they can give on approxamation, but if you can only get 1 MBps vs 4 MBps(the standard package for 39.99), which would you take? Besides, with the cable company offering phone, HSI, and tv service, its much easier to take a bundle than get the services from 2 different companies. Why else do you think DSL has dropped its price so much in the past few years. They had to find some way to compete with the cable companies.
Posted by tanis143 (122 comments )
Link Flag
Not true
I work at a large well known company datacenter, at home the majority of us use cable - NOT DSL - even our network admins. It's more reliable. As far as the other comment about a shared medium, DSL is also. PPOE SUCKS. You get point to point so far then it's shared also. The farther away you get from the switch your bandwith suffers, so unless you're right next door to it you lose bandwidth. With DSL you're using 80 year old (could be older or newer lines - still old lines) copper lines, most cable lines have been upgraded in the past 10 yrs or so. I've worked in the IT field since 1988, I will never have DSL (unless it's my only option). BTW: I want FIOS! lol
Posted by goomah (10 comments )
Link Flag
Cable still has one fundamental problem
That problem is that it is now, and always will be, a shared medium. That is a major drawback. Network administrators (when they have a choice between DSL and cable) will always go with DSL. It is no fun when you are called at 8:00pm to remote into a data center only to have your available neighborhood bandwidth hogged by the kid next door downloading porn. This does not happen with DSL.

It used to be that DSL speeds were far slower than cable but that is changing. At the moment, DSL speeds (for the majority of possible DSL connections offered) are about equal. Some cable markets are rolling out 20+Mb/s service and some are even higher. But the same problem will always come back and that is the shared medium. All that bandwidth means nothing when the cable comany oversells the area or little Johnny next door decides to upload 10GB of videos of him playing his XBox.

If you really want reliable broadband service that is not affected by your next door neighbor's surfing habits, go with DSL.
Posted by thenet411 (415 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Central Office connections can also result in the same "shared medium" prob
True but don't forget that your DSL circuit ends up a DSLAM at a CO. At the CO your DSLAM must interface with your ISP's FR or ATM network and that is a weak link. I have had instances where too many circuits were homed in to a CO but the interface to the ATM data network was a T-1!!! Talk about shared and over subscription.

I still favor DSL but must be naked (no dialtone)for me to make the move back from cable.

FYI I worked for an independt ISP that provided DSL in the late 90's - early 00's and used your argument to get people to switch :)

-Metro305
Posted by metro305 (3 comments )
Link Flag
Urban Myth
Um, sorry to say but thats an old stratagy and now an urban myth (unless your cable company is living in the dark ages). Now, most cable companies use node management and QOS to make sure that the average bandwidth stays the same. I live in a middle class neighborhood where I know there are plenty of people on the cable network (my computer that has an extended wireless antenna picks up about 8 wireless connections besides mine, and the ones I logged into are on cable) and my speed stays around 8.5 MBps (9MBps service for 54.95). My uploads are always around 900 KBps.

DSL speeds however are always varried depending on where you live. Sure, they only offer you what they can give on approxamation, but if you can only get 1 MBps vs 4 MBps(the standard package for 39.99), which would you take? Besides, with the cable company offering phone, HSI, and tv service, its much easier to take a bundle than get the services from 2 different companies. Why else do you think DSL has dropped its price so much in the past few years. They had to find some way to compete with the cable companies.
Posted by tanis143 (122 comments )
Link Flag
Not true
I work at a large well known company datacenter, at home the majority of us use cable - NOT DSL - even our network admins. It's more reliable. As far as the other comment about a shared medium, DSL is also. PPOE SUCKS. You get point to point so far then it's shared also. The farther away you get from the switch your bandwith suffers, so unless you're right next door to it you lose bandwidth. With DSL you're using 80 year old (could be older or newer lines - still old lines) copper lines, most cable lines have been upgraded in the past 10 yrs or so. I've worked in the IT field since 1988, I will never have DSL (unless it's my only option). BTW: I want FIOS! lol
Posted by goomah (10 comments )
Link Flag
DSL Vs. Cable
Both PONS and DSL are shared platforms.

Question, is their any demand for dedicated scaled bandwidth from 10 to 300 mbs, based on an individuals need, simultaneous in both directions?

All comments welcome!
Posted by heritagejd (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
DSL Vs. Cable
Both PONS and DSL are shared platforms.

Question, is their any demand for dedicated scaled bandwidth from 10 to 300 mbs, based on an individuals need, simultaneous in both directions?

All comments welcome!
Posted by heritagejd (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Switched from DSL to Cable
I dialed in to DSL, got busy signal, cancelled and has been with cable internet ever since.
Posted by (156 comments )
Reply Link Flag
uh...
you don't "dial in" to DSL. perhaps you had dial-up service...not DSL.
Posted by bob blob (118 comments )
Link Flag
Switched from DSL to Cable
I dialed in to DSL, got busy signal, cancelled and has been with cable internet ever since.
Posted by (156 comments )
Reply Link Flag
uh...
you don't "dial in" to DSL. perhaps you had dial-up service...not DSL.
Posted by bob blob (118 comments )
Link Flag
Availability
Heck, I just want something to be available to me! It's like they've gotten so into this one-up-man-ship that they've forgotten that there are people NOT in West-Bum-F%&#38;$ who want ANY broadband service!

I'm in the Norhteast and DSL in the next town over (literally a couple hundred feet away) but not for me?!
Posted by dragonbite (452 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Availability
Heck, I just want something to be available to me! It's like they've gotten so into this one-up-man-ship that they've forgotten that there are people NOT in West-Bum-F%&#38;$ who want ANY broadband service!

I'm in the Norhteast and DSL in the next town over (literally a couple hundred feet away) but not for me?!
Posted by dragonbite (452 comments )
Reply Link Flag
DSL Sucks
DSL sucks. Cable is much faster, doesn't dial, and offers a hell of a lot more bandwidth.
Posted by 206538395198018178908092208948 (141 comments )
Reply Link Flag
doesn't dial? WTF
Does that mean? DSL users dont dial. Maybe you mean PPPoE sucks and Static IPs ae better????
Posted by kieranmullen (1070 comments )
Link Flag
doesn't dial? WTF
Does that mean? DSL users dont dial. Maybe you mean PPPoE sucks and Static IPs ae better????
Posted by kieranmullen (1070 comments )
Link Flag
doesnt dial? wtf?
Dude what are you talking about? Are you confused and mean static ips are better than PPPoE ?
Posted by kieranmullen (1070 comments )
Link Flag
you probably never had DSL
as with the previous comment above, DSL doesn't dial...
Posted by bob blob (118 comments )
Link Flag
DSL Sucks because I can Vonage
I can then go get Vonage for $24.99 a month to go with my 8 Meg cable for 42.99 a month, which I did. I work from home, and use my phone all the time, so its fast stable and reliable enough for me to do that, and work at the same time. BellSouth/DSL is a rip off at least here. Cable is so pervasive in my area, that we are not limited by sharing. They opened up such a huge pipe for everyone in the area, we all get the same fast speed every day.
Posted by jcannonb (7 comments )
Link Flag
I agree
and with cable I get the speed I'm paying for. DSL I got half the speed some days and never once in 4 years got the actual speed I was being charged for each month. Guess what? Bellsuth doesn't pro-rate based on the speed you receive, you still pay full price! with cable I get rock solid 6.0 mbps every day for past 1.5 years.

I killed my phone line and got Vonage and between the two -- cable modem and vonage I have much less cost, much better service.
Posted by ChazzMatt (169 comments )
Link Flag
DSL Sucks
DSL sucks. Cable is much faster, doesn't dial, and offers a hell of a lot more bandwidth.
Posted by 206538395198018178908092208948 (141 comments )
Reply Link Flag
doesn't dial? WTF
Does that mean? DSL users dont dial. Maybe you mean PPPoE sucks and Static IPs ae better????
Posted by kieranmullen (1070 comments )
Link Flag
doesn't dial? WTF
Does that mean? DSL users dont dial. Maybe you mean PPPoE sucks and Static IPs ae better????
Posted by kieranmullen (1070 comments )
Link Flag
doesnt dial? wtf?
Dude what are you talking about? Are you confused and mean static ips are better than PPPoE ?
Posted by kieranmullen (1070 comments )
Link Flag
you probably never had DSL
as with the previous comment above, DSL doesn't dial...
Posted by bob blob (118 comments )
Link Flag
DSL Sucks because I can Vonage
I can then go get Vonage for $24.99 a month to go with my 8 Meg cable for 42.99 a month, which I did. I work from home, and use my phone all the time, so its fast stable and reliable enough for me to do that, and work at the same time. BellSouth/DSL is a rip off at least here. Cable is so pervasive in my area, that we are not limited by sharing. They opened up such a huge pipe for everyone in the area, we all get the same fast speed every day.
Posted by jcannonb (7 comments )
Link Flag
I agree
and with cable I get the speed I'm paying for. DSL I got half the speed some days and never once in 4 years got the actual speed I was being charged for each month. Guess what? Bellsuth doesn't pro-rate based on the speed you receive, you still pay full price! with cable I get rock solid 6.0 mbps every day for past 1.5 years.

I killed my phone line and got Vonage and between the two -- cable modem and vonage I have much less cost, much better service.
Posted by ChazzMatt (169 comments )
Link Flag
Still overpriced at the DSL average of $32 and cable even higher
We always hear that the UK is a high-cost area compared
to the USA, but check out websites like The Register and
you can read stories about the rollout of offers like
£21 (about $40) a month for a combination of phone and
8 Mb/s broadband. Now compare this with the latest offer from
Comcast which came in the mail a few days ago, $33 per month
each ($66 total) for phone and for "up to 6Mbps" broadband.
And those rates only last 6 months, after which they go way up.
Posted by Jackson Cracker (272 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Still overpriced at the DSL average of $32 and cable even higher
We always hear that the UK is a high-cost area compared
to the USA, but check out websites like The Register and
you can read stories about the rollout of offers like
£21 (about $40) a month for a combination of phone and
8 Mb/s broadband. Now compare this with the latest offer from
Comcast which came in the mail a few days ago, $33 per month
each ($66 total) for phone and for "up to 6Mbps" broadband.
And those rates only last 6 months, after which they go way up.
Posted by Jackson Cracker (272 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Exactly - average user just swallows the hype
Exactly, the average consumer has no way to tell what is going on with their network whether its DSL or cable and they sure as hell wont get that info from their providers sales people or tech support. Cable starts this with the "cable is faster" FUD which is all based on comparisons with DSL service options from years ago. 3 and 6Mbps DSL has been around for a long time and now can be had for prices comparable or lower than cable - especially when you ignore the lame teaser rates (offered by both sides).

In any case as others have point out, its all moot. I've yet to met a consumer that could tell 1.5Mbs from 3 or 6Mbps when doing basic surfing, email and messaging use. Any perceived slowness is usually due to DNS delays and latency which can hit any network connection.

My experiences of people trying to get cable support is that basically its non-existant - don't even think of trying anything remotely business critical with it (like working from home or using VoIP even) because when it goes down you could be weeks without resolution. And, the average big telco DSL comes a close second. My best experiences have been with small local ISPs that resell DSL connectivity (I'll give a big plug to Sonic.net in California for their amazing job at doing this and pleasing customers) and specialize in supporting it like its a real network connection and not just some add-on package from a big media company like comcast or big telco like SBC/ATT.

Two things to remember when getting DSL or cable - buyer beware and you mostly get what you pay for.

If network connectivity is critical to you make sure you have backup solutions like good old fashioned dial up (don't laugh, you'll be surprised how good 56K dial up can be) or WWAN from your cellular phone (GPRS/Edge or HSPDA). With all three configured and working you should be good to go next time the cable goes out and there's a week or so wait to get the cable guy out...
Posted by whogrant (32 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I partially agree...
Most consumers are completely ignorant of what 1.5Mbps even means, let alone how fast they should expect it to be. I have seen consumers freak out at their providers because they pay for a 1.5Mbps download and all they see when they download is 160KBps (Notice the large B) and they think they are being cheated. And heaven forbid they see even less as they don't understand the distance limitations of broadband and how the further you are from the CO, the slower your connection. And finally, their lack of understanding of networking in general prevents them from factoring in things like network and site congestion when evaluating overall network performance.

Most consumers should opt for the cheapest 384K solution they can find because anything higher is a waste of money for simple surfing and email. Which broadband use studies show is what about 75% or broadband users do with their connections.

I must disagree with your assumption that local ISPs reselling DSL is a better option. Local ISPs suffer from lack of trained personnel to deal with anything technical above simple web surfing issues and the dreaded "I can't get my email!" complaint. Not to mention, most local ISPs don't have the upstream bandwidth to support several highspeed customers at once unless they opt for a DS-3 at around $2,000 a month. Most simply opt to tie multiple T-1s together and multiplexing has its own issues. And finally, paying a local provider to simply route my connection through their system and adding latency (make no mistake, rerouting DSL connections through third parties adds about 50ms of latency) is not an attractive option.

I used to be in the local ISP game from 1995 through 1999. I could see the writing on the wall and got out. The days of the local ISP are numbered. City-wide wireless is going to take over the consumer market and local ISPs will be relegated to the sidelines with the dialup holdouts.
Posted by thenet411 (415 comments )
Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.