Cable bandwidth shared by users in coaxial serving area

© 2004 Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. BCRAN v2.1—4-3

Currently, the most common remote access broadband service is a cable modem. Cable modem users connect to the Internet through a digital cable TV connection. One benefit of cable is its high speed. Cable modems also offer the benefit of constant connectivity. Because there is no need to dial in to the Internet, a user does not have to worry about receiving busy signals. Additionally, going online does not tie up a telephone line. Many cable operators offer telephone services over cable, such as Voice over IP (VoIP) over Cable and Voice over Cable.

The primary disadvantage of cable is that the bandwidth is shared among all of the data users in a given area. Connection speed could drop during busy periods if the cable operator has not placed proper bandwidth quality of service (QoS) mechanisms in place. If there is not enough bandwidth available, then customers might not get the minimum committed information rate (CIR) that they have purchased. However, in practice, end users tend to experience a much higher data rate than the level they have purchased.

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