Cable, ADSL, and Fiber


Cable − Cable network is a system of providing varied services like television programming, FM programming, Internet and telephone services over existing cable TV network.

ADSL − Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) is a type of broadband communications technology to transmit digital data at a high bandwidth on existing phone lines to homes and businesses.

Fiber − Fiber or Fiber to the home (FTTH) is a technology to deploy optical fibers in the local loop of the telephone networks to the users home for providing high-speed data connectivity.




  • Cable − They use the copper coaxial cables of the existing television network in the customer end.

  • ADSL − They use twisted pair copper lines of the existing telephone lines in the customer end.

  • Fiber − They use high-speed fiber optic cables.

Deployed By

  • Cable − They are used by cable TV companies to provide Internet services.

  • ADSL − They are used by telephone companies to provide Internet services.

  • Fiber − Fiber optic broadband services are provided by companies like Verizon Fios and Google Fiber, who provide high speed services using fiber cables throughout.


  • Cable − Normally, their speed ranges from 3 to 10 Mbps. Cable modem can provide maximum speed of 1.2 Gbps.

  • ADSL − They provide speeds around 7 Mbps for downlink, and around 640 Kbps for uploads. ADSL modem can provide maximum speed of 200Mbps.

  • Fiber − They have very high speed of 1000 Mbps. They provide symmetrical services, i.e. speed is same both for upload and download.


  • Cable − They have high coverage area since the coverage area is same as the cable TV lines. For example, the coverage more than 80% in USA.

  • ADSL − They have very large coverage which is same as the coverage area of the telephone lines. For example, the coverage is around 90% in USA.

  • Fiber − Since, they are newer in the market, they have lower coverage areas. In USA, the coverage area is 25%.


  • Cable − Cable speeds are not very much affected by distance from the head-end. However, the speeds diminishes with increasing number of Internet users.

  • ADSL − ADSL speeds diminishes with increasing distance from the provider’s local office.

  • Fiber − The speeds are unaffected by distance from the Internet service provider.

Reliability and Security

  • Cable − They are not reliable or secured.

  • ADSL − They have better reliability and security than cable networks.

  • Fiber − They are highly reliable.


  • Cable − The maximum bandwidth is greater than ADSL. However, it diminishes with the increase in the number of users.

  • ADSL − They provide low bandwidths.

  • Fiber − They provide very high bandwidth.


  • Cable − They are economical.

  • ADSL − They are economical.

  • Fiber − They are costly.

Application Areas

  • Cable − They are suitable for cable TV viewers who reap gains from the "cable bundle" plans.

  • ADSL − They are suitable in rural areas.

  • Fiber − They are suitable for high-speed Internet users.

Samual Sam
Samual Sam

Learning faster. Every day.