A digital subscriber line, or DSL, uses the same copper wire as traditional telephones. Cable modem provides service through existing hybrid fiber-copper, or HFC, lines. It is important to understand that both of these transmission media have significantly less bandwidth capability than glass fiber.

DSL connections are also more likely to be slowed due to the deterioration of the copper lines, most of which were installed more than 15 years ago. Cable modem subscribers share their bandwidth with other subscribers in the area, which also slows cable modem speeds.

Finally, DSLs and cable modems are typically "asymmetrical" in order to maximize, as much as possible, their more limited bandwidth capabilities. Asymmetrical networks maximize their limited bandwidth capacity by offering faster data rates "downstream" to your home than upstream from your home. So, for example, you can receive e-mails with picture attachments very quickly, but sending out your own e-mails with pictures attached much more slowly.

Ultimately, cable modem and ADSL are little more than broadband "bandages," temporary solutions that will ultimately be replaced by fiber optic, which has virtually unlimited bandwidth downstream and upstream. Fiber optic is the smart, long-term solution for broadband to your home.

Below is the breakdown of the bandwidth speed comparsion

    Compared to Dial-up:
  • Up to 140 times faster than a 56K modem
  • Eliminates logins or time spent waiting to dial-up
  • Is always-on/available
  • Eliminates need for additional phone line
    Compared to DSL
  • Is up to 30X faster than the speed of 2.6Mbps
  • Eliminates need to purchase local phone service
    Compared to Cable
  • Has 20X the upload speed of the 4Mbps
  • Doesn't share bandwidth with other households