DSL vs. Cable:
Myths & Facts
Myth #1 DSL is faster than Cable.
FACT: TWC customers get 2000 x 384 kbps (or greater). Equivalently priced DSL is 512 x 128 kbps
(may be up to 1500 x 768 if close enough to the central office) DSL also has significant
distance limitations. These limitations do not exist with the Time Warner Cable Hybrid Fiber
Coax architecture. No matter where you are on our HFC plant, you get the same great speed.
Myth #2 DSL is dedicated, Cable is shared.
FACT: ALL internet connections travel over shared media. DSL is dedicated only up to the DSLAM at
the DSL provider’s central office. Proper management of our HFC architecture, through optical
node splitting, keeps network congestion low and data speeds high.
Myth #3 Because Cable is a shared media, neighboring users can capture private data and hack into
computers more easily.
FACT: We use Baseline Privacy (BPI) which encrypts the traffic between the Cable Modem and the
CMTS and prevents direct communication between modems. In addition, we use Message
Integrity Check (MIC) prevents hacking of the encryption keys.
Myth #4: When a cable connection is delivering Data, Video, and Voice simultaneously to the same location,
the user will suffer from congested bandwidth, unlike a DSL user.
FACT: Both the downstream and upstream data each receive a dedicated 6 MHZ wide channel which
is free of interference from video signals. DSL, especially when carried over a common wire
with voice traffic, is much more prone to interference.
Myth #5 DSL is less expensive than Cable.
FACT: DSL is sometimes “cheaper” but is seldom less expensive than Cable on a per megabit basis.
Business DSL may be available for $49.95, but is usually a 128 kbps connection. The standard
2048 cable connection‘s cost per kpbs will be much lower.
Myth #6 DSL companies are more reliable than Cable companies.
FACT: Time Warner Cable’s HFC services run over a ring-in-ring structure. This ring architecture
provides multiple paths to each node serving 1,000 or fewer customers. Should even one of
the fibers to that node break, user traffic can continue to flow uninterrupted across another
fiber path. This self-healing ring-in-ring distribution offers the user a continuous, secure
connection to the Internet.
Myth #7 DSL is newer technology than Cable.
FACT: DSL was first designed in the 1970’s and runs over POTS (plain old telephone service) CAT-3
cabling, which is prone to interference and signal loss. Cable’s HFC was designed in the ‘80s
and ‘90s and travels mostly via fiber optic. The last few 100 feet use low resistance, low loss
Myth #8 DSL is more widely available than Cable because you can get it anywhere you get phone service.
FACT: DSL has severe distance limitations that prevent it from being offered in many neighborhoods.
In outlying neighborhoods, less that 3 miles from the DSL providers central office, maximum
DSL speeds can fall as low as 64 kpbs – barely better than dial-up.