Re: [NTISP] cable modems

Sheryl D. Stover ( (no email) )
Fri, 26 Feb 1999 13:54:40 -0800

Cable modems provide incredible speed and performance initially. However,
in almost every market I've seen (and I did my time as an insider in that
industry, starting up the first privately-owned cable internet system in
California along with the Internet company I worked for at the time), the
cable companies don't understand bandwidth well enough to provide good
service over the long term.

In most cable-delivery internet systems, a single channel can provide up to
30 megabits of data transfer. Promising users speeds around 512k means that
a mid-sized urban area would run out of capacity on a single channel fairly
quickly. No problem, in theory - channels which do not pack enough power
for video, being at the high end of the frequency range, can still carry
data without difficulty, and in fact do it better. But I have yet to see or
hear of a single cable system that expanded their distribution to more than
two or three channels - and most use only one. Result? After about 6
months in an area where cable internet is popular, your actual speed dips
below the average performance of a 56k modem.

Cable will eventually figure out how to offer internet access that is high
in both quality and value. In the short term, early adopters will jump ship
for the high speeds, but will come back when the popularity increases and
the performance goes down. A better value for the money, having evaluated
all of the options, is XDSL service - and most ISPs can offer that in areas
where the telco can. :)

Sheryl D. Stover - -
IEA Software Account Management and Customer Service
Phone: (509) 444-2455 ext. 51 - Fax: (509) 624-9903
Billing and Customer Care for ISPs and Communications Companies

-----Original Message-----
From: Geoffrey L. Scully <>
To: <>
Date: Friday, February 26, 1999 9:34 AM
Subject: Re: [NTISP] cable modems

:From what I have seen they give no tech support and have more rules than
:the bible. We have some people who went and then came back because of
:price for one and the ones that needed the speed are not allowed to use
:NT Server with TCI the largest cable company around. They keep that to
:themselves but when a friend of mine started up his NT server trying to
:use IIS to do work remotely for us they threatened to cut him off if he
:did not shut down all NT services immediately. So I would advise
:everyone to just do a good job and give a good service and people will
:be happy. Oh, by the way they are using a network card anyway so anyone
:can hack into anyone elses computer with ease. This is also a point you
:can push to people.
:Adam Greene wrote:
:> I'm worried too, but I wonder if cable companies will be able to give
:> good technical support to their Internet customers...alot of our
:> customers stick with us because we help them to use the service
:> (configure their browsers and email programs, for example).
:> -----Original Message-----
:> From: Jim Atkins <>
:> To: <>
:> Date: Friday, February 26, 1999 7:29 AM
:> Subject: Re: [NTISP] cable modems
:> I'm not worried excessively--this is why-- 1. In my area
:> (rural) cable is coming-but because it's not a metro area I
:> expect the cost to be at least double what we offer access
:> for. (Maybe more)2. Maybe half (more likely much less like
:> 10-15%) of the area will be loop qualified for it (and xDSL
:> as well)3. Less secure than standard dial-up. Now I know
:> I'll lose my speed demons (gamers) and some of my line
:> campers (not overly unhappy about that) so that will mean
:> that I'll not need to add more gear, but grandma who sends
:> e-mail 3x a week is not going to pay more for a cable modem
:> or cable services. The worst I worry about is losing some
:> business connections but I already have in place a *good*
:> strategy because I can offer things like dedicated IP
:> addressing etc. Jim
:> Is anyone out there worried about cable modems
:> taking their dial-up business? If not, why? I'm
:> really starting to get worried about lossing
:> customers to it. What can we do to prevent
:> customer loss. SincerelyC. Smith

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