Getting Realistic about Cable Modems
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For the last six weeks, I’ve been peeking into the future of the Internet, and I like what I see. I’ve been testing out the @Home cable Internet service, offered by Comcast, TCI, and Cox. Accessing the Internet through a cable modem is a totally different experience from accessing it through a conventional modem, even through a newfangled 56K modem over a clean phone line. You can actually enjoy multimedia Web sites-you don’t have to cool your heels waiting for bandwidth-heavy graphics, sound, and video to slog their way to you. If you’re a heavy or even moderate Internet user, you know how frustrating the World Wide Wait can be. So, right off the bat, I’d highly recommend cable Internet access. But, as always in the world of technology, there are important caveats.
Points to Consider
First, cable Internet access may not be available in your area. Many cable TV companies are beginning to roll out service, but it will be a number of years before most people who want a cable modem can use one. Second, cable access costs more than modem access, typically about twice as much per month, with a higher installation fee as well. However, since it’s based on the coaxial cables of the cable TV world instead of the copper wires of the phone world, you don’t tie up a phone line when connected. So if you currently have two phone lines because of your Internet use, you may be able to save money by cutting back down to one phone line. (If you also use that second phone line for PC-…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).
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