Compare DSL vs Cable Futures

compare dsl vs cableA little technological prognostication is always entertaining, and so with that in mind we are going to attempt to compare DSL vs cable with an eye towards the future.  Who is likely to come out on top, in which way, why, and how?  These are all some very good questions, and we aim to answer them with educated speculation as we compare DSL vs cable futures in our crystal ball!

Compare DSL vs Cable Downstream Futures

Downstream is the measurement of how much data your broadband connection can collect from the Internet in any given period of time.  That period of time is usually a second and is rated as Kbps, Mbps, or even Gbps, denoting thousands, millions, or billions of bits (ones and/or zeros) transmitted every second.  Examples of how downstream are important include surfing large websites (or multiple people surfing), download large emails and/or large quantities of emails, streaming audio and/or video, downloading large applications, patching software, playing online games (to a minor degree, see latency later for more information), and downloading media.

Cable has traditionally had a slight edge in the downstream department, but this may change as DSL carriers are ratifying uniform specifications that will enable them to bond multiple lines and double download performance.

Compare DSL vs Cable Upstream Futures

Upstream is the measurement of how much data your broadband connection can send out to the Internet in any given period of time.  Just as it was with downstream, that period of time is usually a second and is rated as Kbps, Mbps, or even Gbps, denoting thousands, millions, or billions of bits (ones and/or zeros) transmitted every second.  Examples of how upstream are important include uploading photos and/or videos, file sharing, hosting some online games, and hosting your own files or servers.

Some types of DSL, particularly synchronous DSL, have allowed for faster upstream speeds at the expense of downstream performance.  The future of upstream is anyone’s guess at this point in time as the crystal ball is not only murky, the current market is far from clear.

Compare DSL vs Cable Latency Futures

Latency is the measurement of how fast your data travels from your PC to the Internet and back again.  Lower latencies are better, and latency is usually measured in thousandths of a second.  Many cloud software packages and online games require low latency to feel snappy and responsive.  DSL has traditionally held a slight edge in terms of latency, but that may not be true forever.

Compare DSL vs Cable Downstream Modems

Both DSL and cable companies offer great deals on modems, and the current market is a tossup in terms of who has the best features.  This is likely to continue as both technological bases are making significant inroads towards being your one hub to the world and the world’s hub to you.  This will result in gateways that handle every data, media, security, and smart grid need.  One thing is for sure, the future of the DSL/cable conflict is going to be amazing.

Compare DSL vs Cable Downstream Networks

The networks that carry the data for both DSL and cable customers are likely to become a lot clearer, in the sense that they will be gaining tons of fiber optics!  These companies are moving to get fiber optics close to the property line so that the eventual leap away from metal wires will be a less painful one.

Compare DSL vs Cable Downstream Bundles

Another area that is very hard to predict with any accuracy is just what type of bundles DSL and cable companies are likely to offer in the future.  Companies are already testing out and deploying home security and smart grid options, so it is very difficult to predict what will come next.  One thing is for sure, if there is any likelihood that another technology will evolve into a communications medium capable of delivering Internet data, both DSL and cable will try to silence them early by offering a new service to match the core competency of the other technology.

Compare DSL vs Cable Downstream Pricing

Finally there is going to be a clear winner in the contest between DSL and cable technologies in the future: Consumers!