Cable or DSL ? Which way to go

Does your Internet service choice show your age? It just might. In-Stat recently conducted an online survey among 1,013 North American broadband users. The survey found that the age group with the highest use of cable broadband is the 18-29 year old segment with more than 69 percent choosing cable over DSL. That same age group also had the lowest use of DSL broadband.

Compared to last year's results and that of December 2003, this most recent survey indicates a significant rise in cable broadband use for Generation Y. In February 2006, 56.2 percent of them had cable broadband. And in December 2003, 50.8 percent of broadband users age 18-29 used cable broadband.

In-Stat concludes that the 18-29 age group in North America seems to be finding cable broadband more attractive. Cable broadband has historically offered more bandwidth than DSL, and younger subscribers are considered power users who are looking for service that allows them to download the latest music, videos, and online games.

If you need help choosing between cable and DSL, check out the Comparing Cable and DSL High Speed section.

Roughly 80 to 85 percent of America's 68 million cable TV subscribers, which is approximately 55 million people, can get cable high-speed Internet access.
Only 50 million consumers can get DSL, putting DSL a bit behind cable Internet in availability.


If you choose to self-install your Internet, your cable company will provide a self-installation kit. To install your cable high-speed Internet, you will need a cable jack. You will also need a cable modem, which should be included in the kit.
If you choose a self-installation, your phone company will provide a self-installation kit. DSL requires phone jacks to function. You will need a modem, which should be included in the kit.


Cable Internet services on average promise higher levels of bandwidth than DSL Internet services, and this bandwidth roughly translates to raw speed; however, while cable Internet will theoretically run faster than DSL, several technical and business reasons can reduce or eliminate this advantage.
DSL is fast, but its performance depends on the consumer's distance from the central office. The farther away you are from a central office, the slower your DSL service.

Remember, when comparing cable and DSL, both offer an enormous improvement from standard dial-up Internet service. You will notice a difference no matter what you choose.

After you’ve compared all the above aspects of cable and DSL high-speed Internet, it is time to compare price. When considering price for high-speed Internet, you need to shop around. Though DSL is generally thought to be cheaper, different areas of the country offer different deals, so it pays you to look for the best price.