When shopping for High-Speed Internet these are the two most common types of residential Internet access.

Both of them are boradband services, which is a fancy way to saying that aree faster than the old dial-up connection.

Understanding the differences among DSL, Cable and ultimately Fiber Optic Service will help you determine which is the most suitable internet connectivity for your business.

DSL Internet Service

DSL service uses a phone line to deliver high-speed internet. Unlike dial-up service, DSL uses separate frequencies for phone and internet, so you can use both at the same time.

Compared to Cable options, DSL is typically the slowest.

Download speeds for DSL packages typically range from around 1 megabit per second, which is good for basic tasks such as web browsing and email, to 6 Mbps or 7 Mbps, which is sufficient for music and standard video streaming but could be a little slow for high-definition video streams if you have multiple devices connected to your network. Some internet providers offer DSL speed tiers as high as 12 Mbps, 20 Mbps and even 45 Mbps.

Cable internet packages typically start at 15 Mbps to 25 Mbps, and fiber optic starts at 10 Mbps. The fastest, most expensive DSL service available can often be slower than the slowest, cheapest cable or fiber option.

Internet service — providers, plans, pricing and available speeds — varies widely from city to city. Even within a given city, what’s available can differ from block to block.


  • Widely available.
  • Affordable compared with fiber optic or satellite internet service.
  • Widely adopted for home or single occupant offices


  • Slower than cable or fiber optic internet.
  • Actual download speeds are typically slower than the “up-to” speeds that providers advertise. This is not the case with cable or fiber optic.
  • Latency is very high and normally is not suitable for Hosted VoIP services
  • Jitter is greater than cable and produce intermittent connection issues ruining voice over internet protocols and audio/video streaming.
  • Normally not suitable for business with more than 5 employees.

Cable Internet Service

This service uses coaxial cable wires (similar to TV antenna cables), rather than telephone wires, to deliver high-speed internet to your business.

The result is a faster service and more realiable service than DSL.

Maximum download speed tiers are up to 1Gbps (1000Mbps), compared with a top end of 45 Mbps on most DSL offerings. 

Lower speed tiers are also available, usually starting at 15 Mbps or 25 Mbps.

These type of connectivity are suitable for offices up to 25-30 employees, thereafter fiber connections are strongly recommended spoecially if your office uses Unified Communication Services such as VoIP, video-conferencing and audio/video streaming services.


  • Faster than DSL, depending on your package.
  • More reliable than DSL service.
  • More economic than fiber optics
  • Suitable for offices up to 25-30 employees with need of VoIP services


  • More expensive than DSL and other options.
  • Cable internet may not be available where you live. If it is, there may be only one or two providers.
  • Not suitable for business with more than 30 employees