Why is the internet so slow compared to cable tv?

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Offline AllenG

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Through the cable line I get 120+ regular channels and 50+ high definition channels, that has to be close to or even north of 500 megabits of traffic.
High speed internet (in the US at least) one is lucky if they can get a reliable 5 megabit flow.

Is the difference due to marketing, or does the architecture of the internet itself cause the slow data flow?


Offline DonBrown

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Why is the internet so slow compared to cable tv?
« Reply #1 on: 16/08/2008 13:38:28 »
My cable TV is coax from the house 50m to the street box, then, I believe, fibre to the "exchange".
My broadband comes over a mixture of UTP and unshielded, untwisted pair for over a mile from the exchange (so I don't even get 1Mb/s.) Despite the popularity of UTP, I'd back coax against even cat 6 UTP any day of the week.

Also cable TV is sending the same set of signals to everyone, but on broadband everyone is using different signals. Once I get to the exchange, I then get bundled up with 20-50 others to share the next link.  I don't know at what stage I finally hit fibre, but by then I'm probably sharing the bandwidth with thousands of others.

Even when you get into the internet, home internet traffic is bottom of the heap. As long as there's a bit of a gap between the traffic from paying customers, then your message goes in, but if it's too busy you get dropped. And that can happen at every step.