How Cable Internet Works

by Aeyne Schriber on January 1, 2009 in Cable Internet

Cable Internet is delivered to your residence via your cable television line. It provides a high speed Internet connection and is frequently known as an Internet service that is “always on” because as long as your computer is on, you will have an immediate Internet connection by simply clicking your browser.

Your cable provider will install what is called a cable modem which is connected to your computer and to your cable television wall jack. The cable modem is the main provider of your broadband Internet service as well as the coaxial cable that provides your television service. Obtaining high speed Internet access over the coaxial cable will not interfere with the use of your television service after installation of a splitter. You will be able to surf the Internet and watch television at the same time.

Cable Internet offers a broadband connection at a monthly fee that will run anywhere from $35-$45 with one-time installation fees running anywhere from fifty to one-hundred fifty dollars. The monthly fee includes the rental of your cable modem, unlimited Internet access, Ethernet card, and any application software. It is also possible to buy your own cable modem instead of opting to rent the modem from the cable company. If you choose to do this, make sure the cable modem you purchase is compatible with the cable company network.

A really neat feature of cable internet service is that you can also enjoy VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). This is a broadband telephone technology that allows you to use your Internet connection to make telephone calls instead of your regular telephone line. It is used in the same manner as your telephone and the call recipient does not have to have this service to participate in your call.

Cable companies use two kinds of systems which are coaxial and fiber optic. Coaxial cables are the older form and fiber optic is the newest form. The problem with coaxial cables is that they cannot transmit signals upstream so generally a telephone line is used to accomplish this task. Fiber optic can support data transmission both upstream and downstream and therefore works more efficiently.

Be aware that if you choose to go with a cable Internet connection you will not be able to choose your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Most cable companies like Time Warner only work with one provider and are not interested in leasing the lines to local Internet Service Provider’s. This has long been a controversy that often ended up in litigious actions from local service providers.

Cable Internet still remains the most popular form of broadband Internet. It has taken cable companies longer to provide Internet access due to the fact that the cables were originally designed to transmit signals and not data. This required the cable companies to change the equipment both on the company and the subscriber end.

Until there were industry standards for equipment this was an insurmountable task. As equipment standards were established, manufacturing was able to increase which resulted in reduced costs for the equipment needed to produce a broadband Internet connection.

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