For most Australians, unlike many people other developed countries, the cost of broadband is still relatively expensive so getting the right product to suit your needs (and pocket) is a very important decision. While some overseas countries offer all you can eat unlimited broadband data usage limits, Aussies are still being stung with capped amounts and and excess usage charges. On top of this, purchasing the right broadband type can add to the complexities and aside from the rapidly emerging popularity of Mobile Broadband, the other two major fixed line alternatives most people are left with are ADSL and Cable Broadband. But just which type of broadband is right for you?
Firstly, ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) is a service that enables high speed data transmission through existing copper telephone lines and by using an ADSL filter, it usually doesn’t interfere with day to day telephone operations. ADSL services can accessing speeds from 256k up to 8,000k (8Mbps), however typical speeds may vary considerably. This could be a result from on line quality, distance from your telephone exchange network loads and son on.
ADSL2+ is essentially the same as ADSL Broadband yet its updated technology can produce much faster speeds than its predecessor. Current ADSL2+ networks are continuously being deployed throughout Australia (far more so than Cable Broadband) and can offer broadband ADSL2+ speeds of up 24Mbps. As per ADSL, shortcomings in services can vary significantly, however the option of obtaining Naked DSL (ADSL2+ without the additional land line home phone rental fees) can make ADSL2+ Broadband services a far more attractive option.
Cable Broadband technology is made from coax material (similar to what plugs into your TV points) which substantially increases bandwidth limits and speeds as compared to conventional ADSL technologies. Higher speeds and a broader capacity allow users to also bundle their Broadband Internet with PAY TV and VoIP services. these bundle options are also able to run simultaneously with Broadband through the same connection without interference. Current Australian Cable Broadband Speeds are being offered at up to 30Mbps, although both Telstra BigPond and Optus have announce future upgrades that will produce speeds up to 100Mbps.
ADSL is believed to be a dying broadband type technology that will one day become obsolete and eventually replaced by a ‘Wireless’ and or ‘Fibre’ alternative. As ADSL (more so ADSL2+) is widely available over existing copper telephone lines and the fact Cable availability is limited, my guess is that it will be around for sometime to come.
Below are some Pros and Cons that I’ve thrown together which may assist you when making your decision. Good luck.
Option to take ‘Naked DSL’ without Line Rental
Typically less expensive than Cable
Wider coverage availability
Very Fast Speeds
More Provider/Competitive Choices
Generally cheaper than Cable
Land Line Rental (Home Phone) required
Actual speeds can be far more slower than indicated
Susceptible to occasional frequency interference and drop outs
Susceptible to to latency (lag) with heavy network loads (e.g. peak time use/ Household network)
No Telephone Line (or Line Rental required)
Usually more faster than ADSL/ADSL2+ Services
Typically more consistent (less drop outs)
Technology compatible for add on Pay TV services such as FOXTEL
Shared multiple service capabilities
Lightning Fast Speeds
Susceptible to latency (lag) with heavy network loads (e.g. peak time use)
Can be more expensive than ADSL
Expensive Connection and Installation costs
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