Internet Speed: DSL vs. Coax Cable Internet

Speed It Up!

​Slow Internet Speed Kills Online Efficiency

The "Clicking on all Cylinders," series is designed to help small businesses run more efficiently by making the most of their online and digital efforts. In this piece, we compare high-speed Internet connections, specifically cable and DSL. While there are no clear-cut winners in this competition, one thing is certain: your business can't lose when it uses high-speed Internet to maximize online and digital efforts.

While the phrase "information superhighway" is rarely used anymore, it's still an accurate description of the online space your business competes in every day. If your goal is to outpace your competitors, a high-speed Internet connection is the turbo boost you need.

Simply put, a high-speed Internet connection is a must for businesses that want to keep pace. It makes downloading files, streaming video, or sending big e-mail attachments much easier. Like electricity and coffee, it's a business necessity.

Here's how to determine the best business broadband package for your business.

DSL vs. Coax Cable Internet

There are two primary ways to get a high-speed Internet connection; through a cable modem or over a phone line. Usually the phone company delivers their service through either DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) or via a dial up modem.

How They Work

A cable modem provides a broadband Internet connection over cable TV coax. It works by using TV channel space for data transmission: certain channels are used for downstream transmission and other channels for upstream transmission. Because the coaxial cable used by cable TV provides much greater bandwidth than telephone lines, a cable modem can be used to achieve extremely fast access to the web.

DSL uses a sophisticated modulation scheme to pack data onto copper wires. DSL is sometimes referred to as a last-mile technology because it is used only for connections from a telephone switching station to a home or office, not used between switching stations.

Internet Speeds

Cable is generally faster than DSL, however, a variety of factors can influence how quickly you can get online and do things like download files and stream video.

Because cable shares its available space or "bandwidth" with other users in the area, peak use times can slow performance somewhat. A business that operates during the day, however, is unlikely to be significantly impacted by usage that spikes in the evening. And even during peak times, typical online use suffers little.

Another plus for cable? No matter how close – or far – your business is to the provider, speed is not affected. With DSL, speed tends to drop off the further you are from the provider's central location.


How your business uses its online connection is also a consideration. If you're a business that simply needs online access and a way to send and receive email, both cable and DSL perform well.

However if your business moves lots of data, cable offers a significant advantage. Cable download speeds are usually faster than DSL; also, DSL uploads are generally slower. Businesses that need to upload large files quickly might best be served by a cable connection.

Availability and Cost of Cable vs. DSL

If your business is located in a larger metropolitan area, you may have several Internet service providers to choose from. If so, you'll have the luxury of choice. If you're located in a rural area, your options may drop off.

Cable and DSL costs, while competitive, can vary in each market. The impact of a high-speed Internet connection on your bottom line will also depend on your needs and the broadband for business packages your provider offers. Discounts for bundling high-speed internet, phone and digital TV services are common.

A reputable provider will clearly explain the pricing and contract commitment before you sign on the dotted line.

Cable ONE Business High-Speed Internet

Having an online presence and reliable internet connection are essential to the success of every business. At Cable ONE Business, we provide the tools and technology you need to successfully get online and manage your business communications with business-class Internet services. We offer a variety of Internet packages with scalable plan speeds ranging from up to 25 to 500 Mbps,  with no data caps.  And that's speed that can quickly boost your bottom line.

For more information about Cable ONE Business services, call 844.843.9804 or visit

Get TheWire Delivered to Your Inbox

The trends, insights, and solutions you need to grow your business.

By signing up, you’re subscribing to our monthly email newsletter, The Wire. You may unsubscribe at any time.
Your information stays safe with us. Learn more about our privacy policy.