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Cable Modem Access

Essay by   •  September 16, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  858 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,311 Views

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Cable Internet

The Internet has been around for over 40 years and despite technological advances in speed, people still complain that it's too slow. How can people get their favorite songs or visit their favorite sites before dinner is over? This paper will discuss one option, cable internet access.

Until now internet the public had to access the WWW through slow phone lines, connecting anywhere from 300 bps in the infancy of public access to 56k. But now there are several high-speed alternatives to the old phone line, one being the cable modem. Using your cable TV provider as your ISP, people can access the Internet at speeds up to 27 Mbps, but limitations with hardware limit this to about 2Mbps (www.TechTarget.com). This speed is fine for most users. It is also "always on". Meaning you do not have to dial-up to your ISP. It is similar to a LAN connection. This hasn't been done before mainly because when cable TV companies were being formed, the networks were only being set up to send data and not to receive it. The remedy for this was to upgrade the networks not only to be able to receive information, but to handle the larger amount of bandwidth (www.Vicomsoft.com).

The way cable internet access is possible is my using a standard cable TV coax line as the medium and a cable modem to connect the computer to the Internet. The cable TV provider has a Cable Modem Termination System (CMTS) that then goes through the coax line to the home. The coax line is then connected to a splitter, with one line going to the television or set-top box, and the other to the cable modem (www.Techtarget.com). The cable modem then is connected to a PC via a Cat 3 or 5 cable to a network card. Some modems can also be connected via the USB or FireWire port.

The type of modem a person needs depends on the standard the provider is using. One may be using the Multimedia Cable Network Systems (MCNS)/ Data over Cable Systems Interface Specification (DOCSIS) standard, and the IEEE 802.14 standard. The faster, bandwidth efficient, better performing, and more robust choice is the MCNS DOCSIS standard (www.Vicomsoft.com). Because this is the standard, most manufacturers have developed their modems to work with it, though some manufacturers have based theirs off of the IEEE 802.14 standard.

If a user does decide to go with cable Internet access, they have a choice between 2 major providers: AOL Time Warner (RoadRunner) and @HOME, though others are slowly appearing (www.catv.org). The one they use all depends on their cable provider's affiliation. For example, Comcast Television uses the @Home service whereas MediaOne uses RoadRunner. These cable providers sometimes call the service by a different name, but chances are they use one of the two. Once a user finds out their provider has access, they must make sure their computer meets certain requirements, usually being a Pentium class PC running at least a 133 MHZ, Windows 98 SE or higher (95 will only work is not using a USB modem), 64 MB of Ram, and 150 MB of hard drive space (www.comcast.com). When a user meets these requirements an installation date is set up, usually being within 2 weeks of the call. Costs vary from free installation to $150 (www.comcast.com, www.roadrunner.com). Multiple computers can be added

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