Compare DSL vs Cable Availability

Compare DSL vs CableEverything comes with its pros and cons, and the conflict between cable and digital subscriber lines only goes to prove that.  Today we compare DSL vs cable from the perspective of availability, but availability is a very complex problem to compare.  First, you have to look at the problem from a regional perspective, and then you need to look at the situation from the angle of performance requirements and goals.  Only then can you really compare DSL vs cable broadband availability in a realistic fashion and hope to come up with a winner.

Compare DSL vs Cable Availability by Market Type

To compare DSL and cable availability, you really do not have to start with the metro areas as both technologies are literally crawling up and down every single office and home in every major metro area in the country.  The only thing that we could possibly learn from evaluating these particular markets is speed, and that is something we will cover later.  Instead, what we really want to look at starts with the more suburban areas and goes out to the rural zones in the country.

For suburban areas we are primarily interested in how many markets are on lockdown where we cannot compare DSL vs cable because one or the other has a broadband stranglehold on the market.  Sound strange?  It should, because this condition has not existed in many larger markets for years now, but there are a still pockets of civilization that have not caught up to the rest of us.

Rural areas are also likely to be the recipient of at least one high speed Internet provider, and generally get one from each side of this great divide.  In each of these areas, metro, suburban, and rural, there are competitors, and that is a good thing.

Compare DSL vs Cable Availability by Region

Ironically the country has 2 major seaboard regions that have very well developed broadband infrastructure: New England, and Mid- to Southern California.  These two regions have some of the best market penetration from broadband, even in smaller communities or their limited rural areas.

Compare DSL vs Cable Availability by Performance

Now we come to the heart and soul of the matter: performance.  Availability is nothing if speed is not on tap to back it up.  The competition in the big cities as well as Mid- to Southern California and New England is positively fierce, and DSL and cable broadband providers are not alone in these areas.  Fiber optic carrier and wireless carriers selling souped-up cellular broadband are very interested in these areas, and as a result you get top notch performance in these areas.

When you move to suburbia you quickly see trends in some markets where some neighborhoods get faster DSL or cable broadband and sometimes being on the wrong side of the street can be a very literal problem, or the difference between picking one technology over the other.  This means that a needs assessment could easily turn a two- or three-horse race into a no contest.  Out in rural America, the choices are far more limited and performance is often very limited no matter what provider is being evaluated, though anything is better than dialup.

DSL vs Cable Availability: Who Wins?

There is a clear cut winner every time you compare DSL vs cable, and it is the same winner here when we look at the situation from an overall availability standpoint.  Who is the winner?  You!  That is right, you have been reaping the benefits of this conflict whether you know it or not, and in many ways.  Let us start proving this point by taking a trip down memory lane and seeing how the conflict all started, and more importantly where.

The first broadband markets were larger metro areas as they were deemed to be the best investments.  These areas had consumers with higher levels of discretionary efforts, and would seem to be the most likely candidates to jump on the ‘something new’ bandwagon that broadband may have become had the world not evolved around a more advanced and bandwidth-intensive Internet instead.  Now, we can see rural areas served by broadband and even rivals from wireless carriers and satellite companies offering the promise of broadband anywhere in the world!  These are essentially byproducts of the battle between DSL and cable, and they just go to show you how everyone is already winning.