“Cable is still king in North America,” says Erik Keith of Current Analysis. Although currently, cable Internet access provides higher speeds, DSL Internet providers and AT&T’s U-verse are preparing to boost their Internet speeds by 100 megabits per second or more.
Two technologies called bonding and vectoring are the plan to “help close the gap” between cable and DSL, according to an article from San Jose Mercury News. Bonding will allow DSL providers to transmit signals over multiple phone lines rather as opposed to only one. Experts predict that this will allow for speeds to double without network upgrades or even laying new wires to homes because many American houses already have multiple lines installed.
The other possibility, known as vectoring, remains in its developmental stages. But it would work by compensating the excess noise and interference on and around phone lines. When finished with development, vectoring is expected to greatly increase the speed with which data can be uploaded from computers to servers. This would make uploading photos and videos to website like Facebook and YouTube a much quicker process.
By closing the speed gap between DSL and cable Internet, DSL will, analysts predict, be able to compete with cable and even have an advantage. This is because the bandwidth used by DSL providers can offer consistent speeds while cable Internet is a shared bandwidth composed of all the customers in a neighborhood. This shared Internet creates potential problems when multiple homes are streaming movies or doing other activities which simultaneously require a lot of bandwidth. DSL, on the other hand, promises dedicated bandwidth.
However, cable representatives retort that they are still able to provide superior service even during peak times when bandwidth is required by multiple houses. Cable also hopes to maintain the gap by improving its speed as well to deliver faster Internet at up to 1 GB per second.
This in turn begs the question, how many customers really care about increasing bandwidth speeds? Many maintain that the average consumer will not really notice these impending upgrades. And if the new light-year speed of Internet does not majorly impact the average home, then many residents may prove unwilling to pay for these increased speeds.
Sonic.net is the largest independent broadband provider in Northern California, and it has already introduced a bonded DSL service to the Bay Area. With speeds of 40megabits per second, doubling the speed of its regular broadband service, the bonded DSL has also doubled in price, costing $90 per month.
But the increased speeds will undoubtedly prove worth it for some customers. Small businesses and other clients are rapidly taking advantage of something called VoIP, voice over Internet Protocol. This is a method of sending analog audio signals, what you would hear over the phone, and converting them into digital data to transmit via the Internet. This has allowed many to say hello to free long distant phone calls. Companies like Vonage have taken advantage of this possibility for while. But the technology continues to grow with carriers such as AT&T, again, preparing to offer VoIP calling plans.
Image from galihjar.blogspot.com