Services in my Area

Identify the DSL and cable modem services referenced in this assignment

The local carriers in the region include Verizon, AT&T, and Road Runner. Verizon Communication Inc. is responsible for providing digital subscriber line technology (DSL). Specifically, Verizon provides what is commonly referred to as Asymmetric xDSL. This comprises of an optical carrier. It uses fiber optics to carry data among users, although it is not cable modem internet technology. Verizon provides its services in numerous states such as Louisiana, District of Columbia, Connecticut, Kansas, and others. AT&T provides DSL internet access in the area of which I am currently subscribed. AT&T lacks compatibility with dial-up and cable modems, meaning that it only provides DSL internet access. AT$T provides services in places such as Washington, Montana, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, North Dakota, Kansas, Wyoming, and among others.

Speeds of DSL and cable modem

The speeds of DSL and cable modem vary greatly. Most Americans are faced with the tough choice between cable modem and DSL in accessing internet services. Cable broadband is generally faster than DSL. On the other hand, digital subscriber line (DSL) is much cheaper especially at slow speeds. DSL is appropriate for users who do not require high speeds. For instance, it is appropriate for users requiring basic internet connection for simple tasks such as checking mail or visit one or few websites. Cable modems utilizes coaxial cables to deliver information to residential users. On the other hand, DSL utilizes copper wiring that is found in telephone lines.

As earlier mentioned, DSL has lower speeds compared to cable modem. DSL provides users with download speeds in the range between 1.5 Mbps and 15 Mbps. The upstream speed for DSL is in the range of 128 kbps and 1 Mbps. On the other hand, download speeds of cable modems are in the range of 25 Mbps to 100 Mbps on the higher end. Upstream speeds are in the range of 2 Mbps and 8 Mbps on the higher end. However, according to Dulaney (2010), cable modems do not usually reach the higher speeds that have been mentioned. It is also important to note that speeds may be affected by other factors such as the type of computers being used to access the internet.

Related paper: Case Study 2: ING Life

Cost of DSL and cable modem

DSL and cable modem are much costly than dialup accounts. Charges range between $30 and $50 per month for both DSL and cable modem. Installation charges also add up to the total cost of DSL and cable modem. The main advantage in having cable modem or DSL is that the two do not tie the phone when the user is online. The most important thing to note that the two technologies cost roughly the same in terms of installation and operation charges. However, what sets them apart is the fact that cable modem has higher speeds which means it has better speed to cost ratio. Thus, it would be advisable for a company such as Carlson to acquire cable modem over DSL due to the speed to cost ratio. According to Dulaney (2010), installation of both cable modem and DSL costs between $100 and $200. Equipment costs may also be incurred. The cost of this averages $50 to $100. Some activation costs may also be incurred. As earlier mentioned, monthly charges average $40 to $50 for both cable modem and DSL.

Reliability of cable modem and DSL

Cable modem and DSL have different reliability owing to unique characteristics of each type of connectivity. In DSL internet, data movers directly from the user to ISP or vice versa through the phone line. This means that there is no sharing of bandwidth among the various users(“TechRepublic,” 2004). The impact of this is that consistent performance is achieved even though the number of users in a particular area increases. In cable modem type of internet connection, the bandwidth is delivered as a block to users who share it amongst themselves. Thus in such as connection, it is difficult to achieve consistent performance due to the fact that the number of users keep varying on any time of the day. Since users share the same bandwidth, too many of them may lead to slow speeds. Heavy use of the internet may also lead to slow speeds due to sharing of the bandwidth.

DSL provides users with access to both the internet as well as the phone line. Users can be able to choose the connection speeds they need from service providers, which also determines the price. DSL is however greatly affected by the distance between the user and the provider’s location. As the distance between the two increases, the network connection is affected in terms of strength. According to Docter, Dulaney, &Skandier (2012), DSL and cable modem have reliable connections meaning they experience minimum downtimes. Both can also deliver internet at good speeds for home use.

Recommend DSL or cable modem

Based on the previous comparison and evaluation of services available closest to my region, cable modem would be the better option to DSL. Although both have proven reliability, certain characteristics of DSL internet makes it unattractive. Cable modem provides internet at generally higher speeds than DSL. In the current era, access speed is of great essence. This makes cable modem the best alternative between the two. DSL becomes weaker with increasing distance from service providers. In my area, DSL internet access may be weak since it is farthest from the service providers (The area is about 3 miles from the nearest DSL services). It is generally recommended that users be between 2 to 3 miles from the DSL central office so that speeds are not affected by distance (“TechRepublic,” 2004).

As earlier mentioned, DSL and cable modem have basically the same installation and operation costs to the user. However, what sets them apart from the rest is the fact that cable modem provides higher access speeds, and thus giving users value for their money. In terms of security, DSL is more secure compared to cable modem. This is because in DSL there is no sharing of connections with other users. In cable modem, top notch security can also be achieved by ensuring that all the security features are working properly and that the firewall settings are as recommended.

Related paper: Case Study 3:Carlson Companies

Diagram of the DSL and Cable Modem connections to  ISP


Docter, Q., Dulaney, E. A., &Skandier, T. (2012). CompTIA A+ complete study guide: Exams     220-801 and 220-802 (2nd Edition). Indianapolis, IN: Wiley.

Dulaney, E. A. (2010). Linux all-in-one desk reference for dummies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Pub.

TechRepublic (Firm). (2004). Home office computing survival guide. Louisville, KY:       TechRepublic.

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