What Is Cable Internet?

The Innovations Of Cable Internet

Cable Internet is a technology that efficiently uses cable television infrastructure to spread broadband Internet far and wide. In many ways, the growth of cable Internet mirrors the dramatic spread of cable television in the late 20th century. However, the growth of home broadband will likely have even more dramatic effects on modern life.

Modern Cable modems are far more sophisticated than the dial-up modems that typified early home Internet usage. Unlike early modems, modern cable modems are left on and connected to the Internet by default. Save for the occasional service drop-out, cable users are always in contact with the Internet and the world beyond. Although experimental cable Internet devices were produced as early as the 1980s, this network technology did not become widespread until the late 1990s. Cable modems are now widely deployed throughout all populated continents save Africa. In the Internet service industry, cable companies compete directly with digital subscriber lines or DSL. Offered by telephone companies, DSL is an Internet technology that delivers data over traditional telephone lines. Though DSL has some laudable attributes, cable Internet service is generally far faster. For good reason, cable Internet has achieved massive popularity around the globe. This network technology has spurred the growth of many subsidiary industries. Though wireless Internet connectivity is growing at a faster rate, cable Internet access remains critically important for millions of users.


Bandwidth And Internet Speed

Though cable Internet speeds occasionally dip quite low for short periods, average cable speeds are unmatched by DSL or any other technology. In many countries, cable connections can provide download speeds of up to four hundred megabits per second. Many commentators argue that cable connections are the best choices for users who stream video extensively. Far from negatively impacting most consumers, the growth of online video has greatly increased consumer choice. In particular, video streaming services provide niche programming that is difficult to view through any other means. It is doubtful if the online video revolution could have occurred without the development of cable Internet.

Cable Internet customers share bandwidth with other users in their geographic regions. For this reason, speeds can slow during peak usage times. These busy times include evenings, weekends and holidays. Fortunately, cable companies constantly upgrade their networks for more reliable Internet speeds. In service of fairness, most cable companies establish speed caps for neighborhoods and individuals that use disproportionate bandwidth. Although bandwidth capping was initially controversial, most now realize that capping is a reasonable tactic for ensuring that all paying customers receive fair treatment.


The Future Of Cable Internet Access

By and large, most major cable Internet providers have earned the trust of the public. Nevertheless, commentators have called for more choice in Internet service. In many regions, government rules effectively enforce local monopolies for favored service providers. Fortunately, ongoing consumer advocacy and network competition has lowered prices throughout the cable Internet industry. In the years ahead, thoughtful governments will allow more competition in the broadband Internet industry. As in other industries, robust broadband competition should create untold benefits for society.

Cable providers service most home Internet users, although DSL companies follow closely behind. Increasingly, people are also turning to wireless Internet options. Though wireless Internet access is relatively slow, some wireless packages are highly affordable and portable. Although wireless Internet use is growing rapidly, cable service remains the most practical choice for users who prioritize gaming or multimedia entertainment. This type of Internet is particularly useful for consumers who enjoy traditional cable television. Typically, cable companies provide discounted bundles that include cable TV, Internet and related services.


How Cable Internet Affects Politics And The Economy

Much has been made of the way that home Internet usage has impacted the entertainment industry. Indeed, online music dissemination has caused much pain for monolithic music companies. Home Internet access is creating change far beyond the realm of entertainment. Critically, widespread Internet access can aid the march of political progress. The growth of cable Internet has cemented the spread of alternative political and philosophical voices. Though the cable television revolution offered a similar expansion of information and ideas, broadband Internet has unique power. With affordable home Internet connections, people can network with others and alter their world for the better.

The spread of the Internet represents one of the great democratizing trends in recent history. With the growth of affordable high-speed cable Internet, people have access to incredibly diverse sources of news and information. Many use cable Internet to pursue online education, learning skills and trades that are marketable in the modern economy. Governments throughout the world have prioritized spreading high-speed Internet access. In many countries, the public directly subsidizes cable Internet service to promote economic activity. In the coming decades, vast numbers of people will use broadband Internet to work from home. This trend emphasizes the need for widespread, diverse Internet access choices.