For Those Who Hadn't Been Paying Attention: DSL Is Cheaper

from the been-under-a-rock,-lately? dept

An analyst firm has released a new report pointing out that, in the US, cable broadband is now 75.8% more expensive than DSL, which is obviously helping DSL close the gap to cable service in the US (in the rest of the world, DSL already has a pretty hefty lead). Of course, none of this is new. It's been going on for years and kicked into high gear recently when Verizon and SBC both launched "promotional" DSL pricing at $15/month for somewhat limited DSL. What's unclear, though, is whether or not this report takes into account all the other factors. First, this is promotional pricing and will likely jump up much higher after a year. Second, both Verizon and SBC refuse to allow real naked DSL, so anyone signing up also has to buy a phone line. The cable co's sometimes also bundle cable TV (or VoIP), but all this bundling makes it a lot more difficult to really compare the two. Simply looking at the stated prices of DSL vs. cable modem service doesn't tell the full story at all. It's what the DSL companies hope the press will do, but it's misleading and inaccurate.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Teilo, Sep 16th, 2005 @ 11:00am

    Dialup is even better

    Yeah, and dialup is cheaper than DSL, so let's all switch to dialup.

    What a useless study. Sprint has been trying to get me to switch to DSL now that it's available in my neighborhood. I pay $60 / mo for 4Mbps service. The reason I stay with cable has absolutely nothing to do with price.

    Teilo

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2005 @ 11:00am

    Can you really can 128k or 384k broadband?

    Cable providers don't have 128k plans; most cable providers offer just one option, 3000/384. providers like SBC and verizon don't even tell you what the speeds will be because those speeds won't be much faster then 56k. But hey, it says 'highspeed' so it must be fast!

     

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  3.  
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    Drewbert, Sep 16th, 2005 @ 11:03am

    Uhm

    Is this calculated on cost per/kbs or just cost per month.

    768 for $15 a month is 2 cents per kbs
    1.5m for $30 a month is also 2 cents per kbs
    6.0m for $45 a month is 1 cent per kbs.

    There are 3 people and 5 computers in my house. 768 wouldn't support our useage.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Pachilles, Sep 16th, 2005 @ 11:15am

    Cable vs DSL

    What makes it harder even more to compare is that cable speeds vary tremendously depending on many reasons. Number of users on one hub; Number of users actively using bandwidth; etc.
    I've heard that cable has been known to slow down to less than dial-up speeds, but that is old data, before they increased the top-speed.
    DSL tends to vary only slightly from the top speed.
    DSL, in general, is a better connection, but you pay a high premium for higher than 3 (or 4 in some areas) Mb, and even more to increase the upload speed.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    me, Sep 16th, 2005 @ 11:18am

    Yeah

    It doesn't matter though. As a previous person noticed it's the price/kbs that makes the difference.

     

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  6.  
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    Mike Coles -- Bluelip, Sep 16th, 2005 @ 11:39am

    Re: Can you really can 128k or 384k broadband?

    broadband refers to the transmission method not the speed.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Mike Coles -- Bluelip, Sep 16th, 2005 @ 11:51am

    Re: Can you really can 128k or 384k broadband?

    broadband refers to the transmission method, not the speed.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Pachilles, Sep 16th, 2005 @ 11:51am

    Re: Yeah

    My point was that you may be paying for 6Mb in theory, but you end up averaging say 1Mb in actual downloadability, how do you figure in price/kb actual? Especially BEFORE you actually pay-the-piper and make your choice where to get your connection.
    We need a company or organization to monitor actual down/up load variances and pass this info on to future customers.
    I am seriously thinking about upgrading my connection as multiple machines are slowing things down at home, but I am not sure whether I should increase my costs on my DSL, or follow the flash/attractiveness that Cable offers.
    I don't want to lock myself into cable again for the next year, just to find out my average download speeds are worse than where I started.

     

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  9.  
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    TheImp, Sep 16th, 2005 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Yeah

    "We need a company or organization to monitor actual down/up load variances and pass this info on to future customers."

    broadbandreports.com seems to be a good place for that.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Drewbert, Sep 16th, 2005 @ 12:55pm

    Re: Yeah

    Around here comcast doesn't lock you in for a year. They give you a 3 month reduced rate trial.... $19.00 a month near me... and if you don't like it, cancel it. After 3 months it goes to $45.

    I usually get 4.5 to 5.5 meg.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2005 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Dialup is even better

    Lol - The reason I use cable has nothing to do with price either. My family and i use cell phones exclusively - we have never found our home phone line useful enough to pay the flat fee of $40+ from the lovely SBC. That leave cable as my only viable option ...

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Chris, Sep 16th, 2005 @ 1:18pm

    No Subject Given

    With cable I was paying $45 month for 3mbps down and 384kbps up and I owned the modem. I switched to DSL at 3mbps down and 768kbps up for $29 month with a free wireless router.

    The DSL is so much more reliable. They (cable) just switched to 6mbps down, but I don't need that much download speed, I prefer the better upload speed since I remote to my PC from work and often transfer files back and forth, and the cheaper price.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Pachilles, Sep 16th, 2005 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Yeah

    If you cancel before a year is up, you have to pay for the modem, or package it up in the same packaging you got it, and send it back to them.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Pachilles, Sep 16th, 2005 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Dialup is even better

    You can get direct DSL lines now that VoIP is an option. Check out Speakeasy.net (there are others that are cheaper, but not better than Speakeasy).

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Greg Andrew, Sep 16th, 2005 @ 7:44pm

    No Subject Given

    Verizon is selling naked DSL; they've sent me an offer for it for $35 a month. I believe SBC is testing naked DSL in some areas as well.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Bluelip -- Mike Coles, Sep 17th, 2005 @ 5:11pm

    Re: Yeah

    if the decision to move to cable is prompted by adding more machines to the network, why not purchase more DSL lines. In my area, I can get 3 1.5 meg DSL lines for the cost of one cable connection.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    bob, Sep 17th, 2005 @ 6:24pm

    I couldn't get DSL if I wanted to.

    I live in a suburb that has nice coverage for cable modem. Comcast went through about 4 years back and upgraded everything all the way out to my neighbors in the boonies on 20 acres. The result, there were two or three local ISPs that went out of business because the best most dialup lines around here can get is 33.6 on a good day. DSL is out of the question. The only response we got from the local telco was "we have no budget to upgrade in your area, please inquire back another time". THe closes I ever got to DSL was calling the telco, having them set everythign up and give me a modem and having it not work. Service person comes out and says "I don't know why they said you could, your C.O. is so old they would have to gut the place to give anyone out here DSL, they'll never do that."

    Cable has been speedy (up to 6mb tested on broadbandreports.com) with so little downtime I can't remember the last time it went down. the only way DSL coudl get me to switch now is if they offered the exact same speed and reliability at a lower price.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    ZenWarrior, Sep 19th, 2005 @ 10:17am

    DSL hands-down.

    Two points from a former [very satisfied] DSL subscriber: (1) DSL is far more reliable. I've had more outages with cable in one month than I had with DSL over an entire year; and, (2) Cable's customer service is pathetic, even non-existent. After the last hurricane blew through here, cable was the very last utility to be restored, and their local office wasn't even open the following day when all was well, and every other business was open! All other utilities have grasped the concept of a "satisfied customer," but cable still has not. (After a move, I had no choice but to go with cable. I hate it, and desperately want DSL back.)

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Greg Andrew, Sep 19th, 2005 @ 11:24am

    Re: DSL hands-down.

    ZenWarrior - It all depends on your particular providers; you can't generalize that much about DSL and cable service. Many have had experiences like yours; others (like me) have had the opposite. I switched to a cable modem because my DSL went down way too often.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Dan, Oct 6th, 2005 @ 9:21pm

    Re: DSL hands-down.

    Fact is it all depends on who is your provider
    I work for verizon DSl, I live in Ohio and have time warner for cable internet and phone. Fact is here we have SBC for phone. SBC has the worst DSL service ever in ohio.Time Warner has been praised by the entire city of columbus. 0 outages in 3 years. Had SBC DSL for 4 months.It was up approximatley 2 weeks in 4months. Fact is it takes a lot to make DSL work correctly IE: inside wiring, distance restrictions, line conditions etc. Cable broadband needs a cable modem plugged into a cable line.

     

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