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Broadband Technology - Cable Modem

2004-12-31
 

A cable modem is a special type of modem that is designed to modulate a data signal over cable television infrastructure.

The term cable internet (or simply cable) refers to the delivery of internet service over this infrastucture.

Cable modems should not be confused with older LAN systems such as 10base2 or 10base5 that used coaxial cables -- and especially not with 10broad36, which actually utilized the same sort of cable as CATV systems.

Cable modem for broadband internet accessCable modems are primarily used to deliver broadband internet access, taking advantage of unused bandwidth on a cable television network.

Along with Digital subscriber line technology, cable modems ushered in the age of broadband internet access in developed countries. Prior to the availability of such systems, internet access involved slow dial-up access over a public switched telephone network.

Users in a neighborhood share the available bandwidth provided by a single coaxial cable line. Therefore, connection speed can vary depending on how many people are using the service at the same time.

Often the idea of a shared line is seen as a weak point of cable internet. From a technical point of view, all networks, including DSL services, are sharing a fixed amount of bandwidth between a multitude of users -- but because cable networks tend to be spread over larger areas than DSL services, more care must be taken to ensure good network performance.

A more significant weakness of cable networks using a shared line is the risk of loss of privacy, especially considering the availability of hacking tools for cable modems. This issue is addressed by encryption and other privacy features specified in the DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) standard used by most cable modems.



Related Topics
Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) - Consumer, Industry, Services and Configuration
Broadband Technology
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) - Equipment, Protocols, Configurations and Technologies

 


This article is from Wikipedia.org. All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.