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Digital Cable

The fastest type of broadband connection today is available from your local cable company—if your local cable company offers digital cable service, that is. If you can get it, broadband cable access is a great deal, offering a high-speed Internet connection for between $40 and $50 per month. It’s also the easiest of all broadband installations, involving nothing more than connecting a cable modem between your cable line and your PC.

How Broadband Cable Works

Where DSL piggybacks over your telephone lines, cable broadband occupies a defined space (called a tunnel) within the signal that travels through the cable company’s coaxial or fiber-optic cable. Most cable companies assign Internet signals to a 6MHz slot within the cable signal, which enables downstream speeds as high as 5Mbps. (This theoretical maximum is seldom achieved; speeds in the 500Kbps to 2Mbps range are more common.)


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