by Mike Masnick

In The Broadband Battle Between Speed And Price, Customers Choose Price

from the doesn't-look-good-for-cable dept

Back in October we noted that DSL and cable providers were trying to differentiate themselves from each other. The DSL providers were focusing on being the low cost provider, while the cable guys wanted to be the high speed providers. At the time, we pointed out that this was likely to backfire on the cable companies. People like the speed of broadband, but for most applications there's a "good enough" speed - and many people want it more for the always on connection than the speed itself. It's looking like we were right. The latest study shows that, despite cable's commanding lead in the US, many more people are signing up for DSL these days because of the lower price. It's the basic "good enough" argument. What DSL offers is good enough for what most people want to do with their connections now. Also, the speed difference is minimal right now. You don't get that much faster speeds with cable, and there's not much you can currently do with that extra bandwidth. It used to be that people would sign up so they could download songs, but the music industry is cracking down on that enough that it's become less of a draw for many subscribers as well.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    aReader(), Dec 9th, 2003 @ 1:02pm

    I wonder...

    I wonder if RIAA is paying the DSL service providers to compensate for the low price so that more and more people sign up for DSL and get low bandwidth and cannot download music :-)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2003 @ 1:05pm

    No Subject Given

    I disagree that the speeds are "about the same." both in California and Georgia, with different providers, cable's consistently blown DSL out of the water.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    Mike (profile), Dec 9th, 2003 @ 1:13pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    True, though, it depends on where you are and how close you are to the CO. Where I am right now, I am too far to get good DSL speeds. However, I know others who have DSL offerings that aren't noticeably different than my cable modem.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Adam Rice, Dec 9th, 2003 @ 3:22pm

    No Subject Given

    I've noticed the speed balance has been changing here. When DSL and cable modems were both pretty new, cable was much, much faster. These days Time Warner's own ads only claim to be 2x DSL speeds.

    This isn't really surprising, as cable offers a ceiling on speed, DSL offers a floor. The more people use cable, the smaller a piece of the pie you get, because the bandwidth is shared.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    ne0phyt3, Dec 10th, 2003 @ 12:12pm

    Re: DSL vs. Cable

    I'm not an expert on this, but don't cable modems access bandwidth from a shared connection while DSL connections go through single, static circuit? If that's correct then it is not possible for Cable providers to consistently maintain their initial claims of a higher connection speed when a community becomes saturated with subscribers...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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