News You Could Do Without

by Mike Masnick

Amazingly, People Do Prefer Cheap DSL To Expensive Cable

from the funny-how-that-works dept

Nearly two years ago, with cable modem service holding a commanding lead in the US (though, almost nowhere else), US telcos decided that the way to claw back into the market was to position themselves as the low cost supplier (though, it was often done in a way that was tricky and wasn't as cheap as it looked). That strategy seemed to work almost immediately. Cable providers, in the meantime, tried to convince the world that their higher speeds were much more important. Earlier this year, however, when it became clear that advancements in DSL (and the coming onslaught of fiber) meant that the telcos would probably catch up to cable in speed, the cable companies suddenly changed their tune, saying that speed was no longer important -- now, it's all about additional "services" that most people don't care about anyway. Either way, it appears cable's strategy isn't doing so well, as DSL has successfully chipped away at cable's market dominance, cutting its market share from 65% down to 59%. Still, as Broadband Reports notes, it doesn't appear that cable is that scared just yet. We'll know that cable has finally woken up when they actually lower prices.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Joe Baderderm, May 16th, 2005 @ 9:42am

    No Subject Given

    Does the "average" broadband user really care/notice the difference between DSL and cable speeds? I would argue that most people would only truly notice the difference between dial-up and broadband. Of course, I have no proof or studies to back me up.

    I recently switched ISPs (why do they make it so damn difficult?) and was on a dial-up account for a few days. It was painfully slow.

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

  2. icon
    Mike (profile), May 16th, 2005 @ 9:53am

    Re: No Subject Given

    Yup. I agree. That's why it seems crazy for cable to claim they compete on speed or services -- too things that it seems like people won't really care about, considering the competition is "good enough."

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

  3. identicon
    Erik, May 16th, 2005 @ 1:36pm

    They want $75 a month

    Comcast wants $75 a month for internet access. Hah! 1/2 Price speaks volumes to me. Verizon DSL is $29.95 for me and I am just as happy.

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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2005 @ 1:50pm

    Opening up cable service

    Hey Mike,

    Some time ago I recall a case before the Supreme Court concerning open access for cable service. It had something to do with the telecommunication service vs. information service decision of the FCC re cable. The petition was to force the FCC to regategorized cable service to allow for competition. Something I eargerly await. a(Any chance to give Comcast "the finger") But I have not been able to find any more on the subject or decision. Looking at the SC's website I'm fairly baffled to make any sense. Do you have any added info?

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

  5. icon
    Mike (profile), May 16th, 2005 @ 3:32pm

    Re: Opening up cable service

    It's the Brand X case, and a ruling should come in... July, I think.

    More info here.

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2005 @ 10:16pm

    Re: Opening up cable service

    Converting from dial-up to DSL was fairly easy. Already had a second line for dial-up and FAX, so the DSL added a little bit extra functionality for some additional cost.

    After everything is added up, converting to cable might save me money in the long run. However, cable marketing seems incapable of making a clear and concise offer. Every so often, a lame introductory two/three month deal is offered with the real prices hidden in some very fine print at the bottom or the back.

    Also, the having a POTS socket for a FAX is essential. One economical option that matches my current "slow" DSL/FAX ready setup might get my business. But, I really doubt the three unique marketing arms of the cable company would ever be able to put one offer together.

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

  7. identicon
    Racer X, May 17th, 2005 @ 7:18am

    DSL cheaper than cable?

    Not in my area...a few years ago, DSL providers would run a non-dial tone phone line to provide you DSL. Now, through the insistence of Verizon, all DSL providers in my area (Wash DC) require a landline for voice. When you lump this unnecessary (dial tones are not required for DSL despite what you are told) cost in...DSL costs the same as, or more likely, much more than cable and a VoIP solution like Vonage.
    Fiber (FIOS) may change everything for sure, but for now, I will not subscribe to the DSL mindset and overpay my voice line to subsidize the 'cheap' DSL prices.
    Besides, my 4.5 Megabit cable throughput still kicks the crap out of any DSL offering anyway.

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

  8. identicon
    John Napoletano, Sep 4th, 2007 @ 4:24am

    Dial Up, DSL and Cable Price Update

    I stumbled across this posting and thought it would be interesting to add a pricing update, since the posts were back in May 2005. Now, September 2007, Dial Up ranges from $6.95 to $14.95 for decent service, dial up is rated at 56 Kbps max. Price for DSL from AT&T and Verizon starts around $14.95 per month. Speeds at the lower pricing are quoted at 768 Kbps. DSL is currently marketed at speeds of 768 Kbps, 1.5 Mbps, 3.0 Mbps, and 6 Mbps. Of course the more speed you get the higher your price will be: $14.95, $19.99, $24.99, and $34.99 per month. Cable internet speeds range from 3 Mbps to 6 Mbps and charge $33 to $43 per month (Comcast). Quoted speeds are now even between DSL and Cable providers. Pricing is more similar, however, Cable companies are setting there prices higher than DSL. If anyone is in need of speed, do not purchase the low end DSL quoted at 768 Kbps. We are receiving occasional complaints from customers who purchase the low end service. I think 3 Mbps is great for most people, though 1.5 Mbps is ok for light users. 768 Kbps is good in theory, but sharing DSL lines in a residential setting is causing some problems. Hope this helps.

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

  9. identicon
    Dan Hunt, Feb 26th, 2008 @ 12:11am

    Any Links On Converting From ATT DSL To Comcast Ca

    Any step by step procedures anywhere that detail converting from ATT DSL to Comcast Cable? I have a 2wire in-house wireless router for the DSL that I suppose would have to be replaced correct?

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

  10. identicon
    cable services, Feb 28th, 2008 @ 2:38am

    our link on your webpage

    I would recommend for any US
    Cable Service map.
    Cable companies are offering VoIP telephone (Telephone Cable Service) service, which is helping to drive down the price of

    traditional phone calls from traditional phone companies. Offers interactive video, voice and data services to midsize cities

    in the Southeast United States.

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

  11. identicon
    Internet Services Online, May 27th, 2009 @ 4:53am

    Converting from ATT DSL to Comcast Cable

    ...converting from ATT DSL to Comcast Cable...I suppose [modem] would have to be replaced correct?

    DSL modem connects by telephone wire, Cable modem connects by coaxial cable wire. The two connections are different so they can't be switched out. If your modem is more than a few years old you are better off getting a new one. New modems have better security. You can also buy a modem at your local store and ask Comcast to use your modem. Just make sure it is compliant with Comcast Cable standards.

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

  12. identicon
    Kaleb TV, Jun 8th, 2011 @ 2:07pm

    Either Or

    Some people may say that the speed of DSL is slow but many of those people may not know that DSL is different from dial-up. After all, your local phone company would be the one to offer both, so it is easy to see how a not-so-tech-savvy population would confuse the two. DSL can be very fast. Anyways, the average American really doesn't need anything more than 3Mbps-10Mbps depending on how many devices they usually have connected at once and whether they do any online gaming. On the same token, the faster speeds that cable internet provides are definitely going down in cost from what I have noticed. Many cable companies are offering internet packages under $30. It is really just a matter of doing some comparison shopping before committing to anything.

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

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