Most of the ISPs in the UK offer ADSL broadband, a technology that enables you to get broadband connection using your telephone wire. Since, telephone wire has been traditionally used to bring internet to your home even during the days when dialup connection was dominant, it continued to be the major platform for broadband connections nowadays.
Cable broadband, generally considered an alternative for ADSL broadband has not grown to great heights in the UK like USA. In the USA, more than half of broadband connections come through cable network. Although the major cable broadband provider in the UK, Virgin Media is the second largest ISP only next to BT in terms of customer base, there are still areas in the UK where Virgin do not have their cable network and Virgin Media broadband has to offer their services in those areas using ADSL technology.
Cable network uses optical fibres or coaxial cables to provide television channels, telephony and broadband services. To access the data signals transmitted via cable network, you will need a special type of modem called 'cable modem'. A cable modem can provide up to 50 Mbps download speed and 20 Mbps upload speed, depending upon the package and service provided by your ISP.
Advantages of cable broadband
- Getting all services - internet access, telephony and television service through a cable connection, can make a telephone connection unnecessary thus the line rental you pay for your telephone connection can be saved.
- As the cable network uses optical fibres which is ideal for the fast transmission of data signals, your cable connection is usually faster, more consistent and more reliable.
- Bundling options to combine broadband with phone or TV service let you fully utilize all these services at lower cost. For instance, Virgin Media's 2 for £20, 3 for £30 and 4 for £40 are excellent broadband bundles which are great money savers as well.
Disadvantages of cable broadband
- You cannot find many cable broadband providers in the UK as the majority of the ISPs offer ADSL based broadband packages. Whenever you are dissatisfied with the services of your cable broadband provider and consider switching to another, you may not find as many choices that are available with ADSL providers.
- As the data signals are transmitted through cable network which is shared by a number of users, the quality of service or broadband speed tester tests how many users share the network at a specific time.
- Since the cable network is shared by a vast number of users, it is likely that the data that one sends or receives can be intercepted by another thus leading to security threats. However, cable modems come with good firewall and security features that protect your privacy and data.
How can I get cable broadband?
- First, check the availability of the cable broadband provider in your area, for example, Virgin Media. Use our broadband availability checker tool for it.
- Before choosing a broadband package, assess your needs and the money that you can spend for it. You may also read our broadband reviews and broadband Quick guide.
- If you go for cable broadband, it is always a good idea to choose the best bundled package which combines telephony or DTV service with broadband instead of a stand-alone broadband package. This will considerably save your money and you will pay for all services on a single bill as well.
- Our Broadband comparison table can make your task of choosing the best cable broadband package much easier and simpler. Just click on the broadband bundles to find the various options to combine broadband, telephony and DTV services in a single package.