Sep 25, 2008 - 07:42 PM
Most new installations of cable and phone are using fiber optic cable from the central offices/slicks/switches (whatever they call them in your locale, the terms vary but mean essentially the same thing. A building where all there "Ooooh, shiney" equipment is housed.) to a point close to your home or business. From there - the so-called "last mile" - copper cable is still the overwhelming choice.
To give you an idea of the capacity of fiber, there's no possible way that consumer-grade equipment could ever demand more data than fiber could provide. Ever.
The copper that's run to your home that carries your telephone or cable signal is also capable of delivering far more data than consumer-grade equipment could demand. In the case of high-speed cable from the cable company, your data signal essentially uses a "channel" for the downstream data much like a TV show comes in. The modem is "tuned" to that channel and "receives" the data, translates it so the computer understands it, and then delivers it to your computer. When you need to request something from the 'net, the cable modem translates that request and sends it out via another "channel" on the cable.
Where things start to slow down is when more people come on to the "nodes" for a cable modem. Remember how I said that no consumer-grade piece of equipment can demand more than a cable circuit carry? Well, if you have more people "competing" for the available data capacity (bandwidth) over-consumption can occur which contributes to the "slow down" that people experience.
DSL is not quite as prone to these over-consumption slow downs as cable, but there are other factors that can contribute to you getting less than optimal or advertised speeds.
There's not much you can do, and to my knowledge no provider "guarantees" your speed unless you buy a dedicated circuit which for most situations is cost prohibitive even when it's available.
If you're on cable, you could call support and ask them to re-balance the nodes, but that would also require that the person on the other end of the phone to actually know why you're asking for that.
I hope this helps...please let me know if you have any additional questions.
Mar 24, 2009 - 06:49 AM
The Quomon Team