Isdn vs. Cable Modems

Topics: Cable television, Coaxial cable / Pages: 13 (3093 words) / Published: Oct 9th, 1999
ISDN vs. Cable Modems

1.0 Introduction

The Internet is a network of networks that interconnects computers around the world, supporting both business and residential users. In 1994, a multimedia
Internet application known as the World Wide Web became popular. The higher bandwidth needs of this application have highlighted the limited Internet access speeds available to residential users. Even at 28.8 Kilobits per second (Kbps)— the fastest residential access commonly available at the time of this writing— the transfer of graphical images can be frustratingly slow.

This report examines two enhancements to existing residential communications infrastructure: Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), and cable television networks upgraded to pass bi-directional digital traffic (Cable Modems). It analyzes the potential of each enhancement to deliver Internet access to residential users. It validates the hypothesis that upgraded cable networks can deliver residential Internet access more cost-effectively, while offering a broader range of services.

The research for this report consisted of case studies of two commercial deployments of residential Internet access, each introduced in the spring of

· Continental Cablevision and Performance Systems International (PSI) jointly developed PSICable, an Internet access service deployed over upgraded cable plant in Cambridge, Massachusetts;

· Internex, Inc. began selling Internet access over ISDN telephone circuits available from Pacific Bell. Internex's customers are residences and small businesses in the "Silicon Valley" area south of San Francisco, California.

2.0 The Internet

When a home is connected to the Internet, residential communications infrastructure serves as the "last mile" of the connection between the home computer and the rest of the computers on the Internet. This section describes the Internet technology involved in that connection. This section does not discuss other aspects of Internet

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