Cable Internet

Cable Internet Service By Zip Code

What is Cable Internet?

Cable internet is a type of broadband that allows users to connect to the internet. Cable companies use coaxial cable and fiber optic lines to provide internet service to homes, while telecommunications companies use either standard copper wire or fiber optic lines. Not long after people started getting internet access to their homes, mostly with dial-up internet, cable TV companies discovered that the same cables that were used to bring cable television into people's homes could also be used to provide high-speed cable internet. Since people already had the coaxial cables coming into their homes from the cable company, this was a cost effective and efficient way to provide faster internet to existing cable subscribers as well as open the door to new customers looking for a faster way to connect to the web.  Cable internet access offered a much faster internet connection than dial-up, which quickly made it one of the best internet options for many households.

How Cable Internet Works:

Cable internet access works using either coaxial cable, fiber optic cable, or a combination of the two called hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC). Two pieces of hardware are also required to provide cable internet access to your home; a DOCSIS compatible cable modem, installed at the customers location, and a cable modem termination system (CTMS) at the cable providers master facility or hubsite where television signals and data signals are processed and correctly distributed over the cable television and data network.

What is DOCSIS?

DOCSIS - An acronym that stands for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specifications, is the standard telecommunications specification that cable companies and telecommunications providers use to seamlessly implement high-speed internet access and data services over coax cable TV networks. DOCSIS specifications are of great importance because they provide ISP's and equipment manufacturers the most current standards when installing cable networks or building DOCSIS compatible cable modems and other network hardware. Through each iteration, DOCSIS has maintained cross-version compatibility, or backwards compatible capabilities by allowing older modems to connect at their current DOCSIS standard - even when a cable modem termination system is using a more recent DOCSIS standard.

Quick Guide to DOCSIS Standards & History:

This guide lets you compare types of cable internet DOCSIS standards and associated speed capabilities. DOCSIS standards listed from newest to oldest:

DOCSIS 3.1 Full Duplex - The latest and most current DOCSIS standard, released in 2017, introduced support for fully symmetrical upload and download streams for the first time since it's initial creation. This major update now allows for symmetric data transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps, rivaling speed and capacity traditionally typical of only fiber networks.
DOCSIS 3.1 - First released in 2013, DOCSIS 3.1 once again increased maximum download speeds to 10Gbps, with maximum upload speeds increasing as well, between 1-2Gbps.
DOCSIS 3.0 - First released in 2006, DOCSIS 3.0 increased cable internet download rates to a whopping 1.2 Gbps, while maximum upload rates were also increased to 200Mbps. IPV6 support was also introduced for the first time in this release.
DOCSIS 2.0 - First released in 2002, DOCSIS 2.0 tripled upload rates to 30Mbps per second, up from the previous max upload speed of 10Mbps.
DOCSIS 1.1 - First released in 2001, DOCSIS 1.1 Standardized QoS (Quality of Service) and added the capability of using VOIP phone services over existing coaxial cable internet services.
DOCSIS 1.0 - First released in 1997, DOCSIS 1.0 offers a maximum download speed of 40Mbps and an upload speed of up to 10Mbps.

How Fast is Cable Internet?

With the newest technology and cable internet equipment available, cable internet speeds can reach speeds of almost two gigabits per second. "Can," is the operative word there. The speed you will be able to get varies greatly depending on where you live and what cable internet service provider is available in your zip code. In the real world, typical download speed range from 20 Mbps to 100 Mbps in a lot of areas, although gigabit service is now being rolled out in many zip codes as high-speed internet technology becomes easier and less expensive to implement.

Cable internet is a good choice if you need fast speeds for downloading large files, videos, or images. Perfect if you work from home. When choosing between DSL, satellite, or cable internet, the faster speeds are what usually push internet users toward high-speed cable service. For casual email, browsing and shopping online, internet speed may not be as important. However, cable high-speed internet is especially useful for things like downloading HD movies, streaming music, and gaming online. Most cable internet providers have download speeds that are faster than upload speeds but more and more cable broadband companies are providing internet speeds the same upstream and downstream.

Cable Internet Download Speed Examples:

Example Media & File Sizes
5 Mbps
10 Mbps
20 Mbps
100 Mbps
1 Gigabit (1000 Mbps)
4 Minute Song - 4 MB
5 Seconds
3 Seconds
1.5 Seconds
0.3 Seconds
0.05 Seconds
5 Minute Video - 30 MB
40 Seconds
30 Seconds
13 Seconds
3 Seconds
0.2 Seconds
9 Hour Audio Book - 110 MB
2 Minutes
90 Seconds
45 Seconds
10 Seconds
1 Second
45 Minute TV Show - 200 MB
5 Minutes
3 Minutes
90 Seconds
15 Seconds
2 Seconds
45 Minute HD TV Show - 600 MB
15 Minutes
9 Minutes
4 Minutes
1 Minute
5 Seconds
2 Hour Movie - 1.5 GB
25 Minutes
21 Minutes
11 Minutes
2 Minutes
12 Seconds
2 Hour HD Movie - 4.5 GB
2 Hours
1 Hour
30 Minutes
6 Minutes
35 Seconds

Quick Guide to Cable Internet VS. Other Types of Internet Service:

Figuring out which service is faster, or "better" depends on the type of internet service being considered, as well as the company offering the service. Different companies offering the same type of service (DSL, Cable, Fiber, etc.) can vary wildly in speed and reliability. Keep this in mind when considering which internet service is best for your household as it's not just the technology type that's important when choosing which internet connection is right for you. This cable internet versus comparison guide is based on the technology behind the type of internet service being compared, not individual providers offering cable internet service.

Cable Internet VS. Other types of Internet service
Cable Internet VS. DSL Internet - Cable wins over DSL due to faster overall speeds and similar, if not lower starting price.
Cable Internet VS. Fiber Internet - All things being equal, fiber typically wins over cable. In some cases the cost of fiber internet outweighs the speeds benefits, making cable internet a cost-saving alternative in those scenarios.
Cable Internet VS. Mobile Internet - Cable internet wins over mobile internet due to mobile internet's limited speeds and data caps.
Cable Internet VS. Satellite Internet - Cable internet wins over satellite internet due to data caps, latency, poor connection during inclement weather, and inherent speed limitations of satellite internet.
Cable Internet VS. Wireless Internet - Cable internet wins over fixed wireless internet due to cost, and potential intermittent connection issues due to inclement weather.

Cable Internet Pros & Cons:

Cable Internet Advantages and Disadvantages

Cable Internet Pros

Cable Internet Cons

+ Cable internet provides an "always on" internet connection.
Cable Internet often requires an installation and equipment fee.
+ Cable internet doesn't require a landline telephone cable to your home.
Cable Internet service is often unavailable in rural areas and is more commonly available in metropolitan and densely populated areas.
+ Cable internet speeds are typically much faster than DSL, mobile, satellite, and wireless internet. This makes cable a great choice for users who stream lots of videos, game online, or use other high bandwidth applications online.
Cable internet is a shared connection, meaning the available bandwidth is shared among every customer connected to the local area network coax cable loop in your neighborhood. During evenings and peek usage times, this can somtimes cause slower internet speeds.
+ Cable internet typically offers consistent up time and reliability. Connection dropouts are less common during inclement weather and storms.
Cable internet providers sometimes insist you subscribe to cable TV or telephone service, or alternatively pay an additional fee for internet only service.

Cable Internet Requirements:

To get cable internet in your house or apartment you'll need to sign up with a cable internet provider of course. Then you'll need a DOCSIS cable modem. Some cable companies provide them to customers and sometimes you need to buy one yourself. Just make sure you get an cable modem approved and tested to work on your cable providers network. These days you will probably need either a DOCSIS 3.0 or DOCSIS 3.1. compatible cable modem. Your other hardware, like your computer etc. should be reasonably up-to-date also. Your computer will either need to have a network interface card (NIC) and run an ethernet cable directly into the internet modem/router or have WiFi capabilities. The modem will also need to be a home WiFi modem in order for devices like laptops, smart TVs and other smart devices to connect to the internet without running an ethernet cable from the connected device to the router/modem. Some cable broadband providers have unlimited data usage and some have data caps so that's also something you'll want to look out for if you or your family do a lot of gaming, downloading music, streaming movies or even heavy web surfing.

Cable Internet Questions & Answers:

Answer: - First, you need to find out if cable internet access is available in your zip code. Once you narrow down which cable internet providers offer service in your zip code, you can check availability at your address to see if it's serviceable for cable internet.
Answer: - Cable internet costs typically range between $30-$100 per month. How much cable internet costs per month varies based on your geographical location, how many competitor internet providers are in your area, and which speed you choose when you order cable internet service.
Answer: - Figuring out what speed of cable internet service is right for your household depends on how many people will be connecting to the service, as well as what you typically use internet service for. If you have multiple users streaming videos and gaming, then you would need a faster speed to accommodate that sort of bandwidth use versus a household that simply uses the internet to read email or social media.
Answer: - Cable internet speeds range from 30Mbps up to 2Gbps (2 Gigabits). Cable internet speeds vary based on the technology and infrastructure being used by each individual cable company.

Answer: - Your cable modem can affect what maximum speed you can get with cable internet service. If you have an older DOCSIS modem, and the company providing cable internet has upgraded to a newer DOCSIS standard, you would only be able to connect to the network at the fastest speed capabilities of your older modem.

Cable Companies Providing High-Speed Internet:

Access Cable Television, Inc.
ACS Communications
Adams Cable Service
AF Connect
Algona Municipal Utilities
All West Communications, Inc.
Antietam Cable Television, Inc.
Armstrong
Atlantic Broadband, LLC
Beaver Valley Cable
Bee Line, Inc.
Blue Ridge Communications
Blue Stream
Boycom Cablevision, Inc.
Broadstripe
Buckeye Cable
Cable America
Cable ONE
Cable Services Inc.
Cable TV of East Alabama
Carolina Mountain Cablevision
CASSCOMM
CentraCom
Citizens Cablevision, Inc
Click! Network
Community Antenna Service, Inc.
Community Cable & Broadband
Comporium Communications
Cox
Crystal Broadband Networks
Cunningham Telephone & Cable
Diode Communications
Easton Utilities Commission
Farmers Mutual Telephone Cooperative
First Step Internet
Flint River Communications
Fort Randall Telephone Company
Full Channel
GCI Communication Corp.
Giant Communications
Guadalupe Valley Telephone Cooperative
Haefele TV
Heartland Cable, Inc.
Hilliary Communications
Home Telecom
INDCO.NET
Inland Telephone Company
Inter Mountain Cable, Inc
Kuhn Communications
Madison Telephone Company, Inc.
MCTV
MetroCast
MIcom
Mid-Hudson Cablevision
MonCre Telephone Cooperative, Inc.
NELSON CABLE INC.
Nelson Telephone Cooperative
Nelsonville TV Cable, Inc.
NextGen Broadband
Nextgen Communications, LLC
Nittany Media, Inc.
Nortex Communications
Northland Communications
Norwood Light Broadband
Nova Cablevision Inc.
OmniTel Communications
Omnitel Communications
OneSource Communications
Parish Communications
Partner Communications Cooperative
Pioneer Communications
Plant Telephone Company
ProCom
Pulaski White Rural Telephone Coop., Inc.
PVT Networks
QCOL
RCN
Reach Broadband
Ritter Communications
Ronan Telephone Company
Russell Municipal Cable T.V.
S&T Telephone Coop Assoc Inc
Service Electric Cable TV, Inc.
Shen-Heights TV Associates, Inc.
Shentel
Shrewsbury Electric and Cable Operations (...
South Central Utah Telephone Association Inc
Southern Kansas Telephone Company, Inc.
Southwest Minnesota Broadband Services
Spectrum
Spirit Broadband; Middle TN Broadband
Stratford Mutual Telephone Company
Summit Digital
T.V. Service
Tel-Star Cablevision, Inc.
Thacker-Grigsby Telephone
Troy Cablevision, Inc.
TV Cable
TV Cable of Grayson County
United Communications Association
USA Communications
VS Enterprises, LTD
Vyve Broadband
Wave Broadband
WEHCO Video
West Alabama TV Cable Co., Inc
WestPAnet
Wikstrom Telephone Company
Windbreak Cable
Wire Tele-View Corp.
Woodsfield Municipal Cable
WOW!
WOWaccess, Inc
WTC Communications, Inc.
Wyandotte Municipal Services
Xfinity® from Comcast
Yelcot Telephone Company
Zito Media