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Cable connection

Cable connection as fast DSL alternative.

Next to the classic DSL via telephone line, the network expansion for internet and telephony via TV cable connection will be pushed more and more so that nowadays it became a real alternative. As rising numbers of cable providers’ customers show, the technique for fast internet access via TV cable is fully developed. According to a study about "Long-term Perspectives of Telecommunication", commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Economics, web-compatible cable connections in Germany will reach a market share of appr. 15 per cent on broad band internet in 2010. The proportion of DSL connections will then be reduced from current 98 per cent to future 75 per cent. All this illustrates the increasing attractiveness of this internet connection. The following pages will give you important and useful information about technology, speed and provider choice.


What exactly is cable-internet?

The frequency range of TV canals can not only be used to carry over radio and TV matters, but also internet and telephone services. Yet, the frequency ranges is beyond the visible image, therefore they have no influence on the television reception. As data is not only received, but also send, the cable network is still to be expanded for bi-direction cable connection for telecommunication services, so as also signals from customer to provider can be transferred. The demounting is being pushed by the providers more and more. Even though technology is different from DSL, it doesn’t matter for the customer. The main point is that internet and telephone services can be used fast and at a good price.


Where is cable internet available?

The availability of cable internet is not granted nationwide. Not even when one already owns a cable connection. A necessary precondition for cable internet is a bi-direction cable connection. Due to the high costs for investigation the cable network will only be equipped bit by bit. It will still need some more years until cable internet will be available in the whole federal territory. Altogether, cable internet is yet available in appr. 45 per cent of the German households. Compared to countries like Belgium, the United States, the Netherlands or Swiss, the availability rate of cable internet is about 80 per cent. If you are interested to find out if a cable connection has already been built, you can easily check it out on the particular providers’ web page for free.


What do I need for cable internet?

All a customer needs is a bi-direction cable connection. Normally the customer does not have to worry about the installation of the access as the provider sends an engineer. Firstly, this person will check the cable connection and then replace the conventional cable socket (2 bushes) as necessary by a so-called multi-media socket (3 bushes) that henceforth will see to the separation of data. At the customers’ place a connected cable modem will serve as interface between cable connection and Ethernet interface of the computer. Like with normal DSL it is also possible to connect the cable modem to a router in order to be able to supply several PCs with internet.


Which cable providers are on the market?

The choice of providers is limited for customers as the large number of cable providers has separated the market among each other according to federal states and towns. Therefore they are not in direct competition. The three largest cable providers are Unitymedia Tele Columbus and Kabel Deutschland. Furthermore, there are also many smaller local cable providers which lend their own cable networks to larger cable providers or market their offers.
Here you'll find an overview of all cable providers.


Which kinds of cable speeds are possible?

Measured by a possible data transfer rate Cable internet owns the best preconditions for fast internet. With its high bandwidth Cable internet is considerably faster than conventional DSL via telephone wire. Even today, customers are already surfing the internet downloading via cable connection with up to 120.000 kbit/s. The cable network will allow even faster data speed in the future. This will be enabled through the bundling of several transmitting channels. In order to guarantee the best possible speech quality for telephony services, providers reserve certain cable capacities. According to the cable network operators, it is possible to transmit up to 5 Gbit/s data on maximum.


Which advantages does Cable internet own?

A cable connection provides more than sheer cable TV. Nowadays, cable providers offer everything from one source: internet access, telephone connection, radio and TV via one wire. Cable internet can provide faster speeds than conventional DSL. Another advantage is that Cable internet functions as broadband so that the user is permanently online without compulsory disconnection. Furthermore, internet via cable connection normally offers shorter Ping-times, which is a rather big advantage for online games. The telephone connection via cable connection offers crystal-clear speech quality and already known facility request signals such as Calling Line Identification Restriction (CLIR), conference, call-waiting, enquiry call, brokering and a network-based answering machine. Moreover, providers are planning to offer new services such as interactive TV or picture telephony. All services are available without the necessity of a conventional telephone connection. This helps saving additional costs.

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