Difference Between Broadband and Cable

With the increasing technological advancements, the Internet has become an indispensable part of our lives. It serves several practical functions in one’s life such as helping us in accessing news or attending our study or work meetings.

In such a scenario, it is ideal to be aware of different options for Internet access that are available to oneself. Broadband and Cable are two such types of Internet connections with comparable features.  

Broadband vs Cable 

The main difference between broadband and cable is that broadband is the parent internet access network. Cable functions as a type of the Broadband network that operates via a coaxial cable network. 

Broadband vs Cable

Broadband is the process of transmitting wide bandwidth data at a high speed Internet connection. Broadband employs several different mediums to provide high speed Internet access.

Some of these include cable, satellite, fiber optics, and wireless connection. Broadband may function as a shorthand for high speed Internet access. In the 1990s, Broadband popularly referred to an Internet access that was faster than the conventional dial-up access. 

Cable usually refers to the process of providing Internet access via cable networks. A cable modem is generally used in such a connection.

The cable network has the potential of providing a higher speed Internet access as compared to DSL Internet service. Additionally, the distance from the cable modem has no impact on the Internet speed. 

Comparison Table Between Broadband and Cable

Parameters of ComparisonBroadband Cable 
Meaning Broadband is a type of Internet access that generally operates on cable connection. Cable is a type of Internet connection that uses an infrastructure identical to that of a cable television network. 
Type Broadband usually has two types: Cable Internet and DSL. Cable Internet is a type of Broadband connection. 
Connection The connection may be wired or wireless in a broadband network. It employs a coaxial cable network for Internet access.
Advantage Broadband offers unlimited access to the Internet and there are no extra charges for longer duration. Cable Internet offers high speed internet connection and an easy installation procedure. 
Disadvantage It is usually a costly Internet Service Provider. Cable Internet access is not available to all the cable TV networks. 

What is Broadband?

Broadband refers to wide bandwidth data transmission in telecommunications. The main purpose of Broadband is to transport multiple signals at varying frequencies and Internet traffic types.

The outcome of such communication is a fast transmission of messages. Several mediums are opted for broadband access, including wireless internet, satellite, coaxial cable, and optical fiber. 

With reference to Internet access, Broadband connotes high speed Internet access. It was in the 1990s that Broadband gained popularity as referring to an Internet access that was faster than the conventional dial-up access.

However, this definition of Broadband is quite distinctly related to its original function. There are several broadband technologies in the market. 

A signaling method in telecommunications employing broadband handles a wide band of frequencies. A television antenna can be another classification of broadband because it has the potential of receiving a wide range of channels.

The speed of broadband varies depending upon the kind of work a user does. While 25Mbps may be sufficient for some, clothes may require above 100 Mbps

To choose a broadband that best fits your requirement, start by checking the availability at your home. Thereafter, analyze the amount of bandwidth you require.

The next step involves comparing plans, prices, and prices offered by the ISPs in your area. Lastly, choose the Internet Service Provider that you can trust will meet your needs. 

What is Cable?

Cable is a type of Broadband Internet access. It employs an infrastructure identical to that of cable television. An advantage of Cable is that it provides network edge connectivity from the Internet Service Provider to an end user.

Cable TV Networks are a predominant medium of residential Internet access. However, cable networks face increasing competition from wireless and mobile networks today. 

The cable Internet access consists of a cable modem termination system located at a cable operator facility. The facility, called headend, is connected to switching centers via a high bandwidth fiber trunk.

With the help of fiber optic cables, each switching center is connected to one or more fiber nodes. Lastly, the local coaxial cable is connected to the customer with a cable modem at his place. 

Cable Internet Access offers its own set of merits to the user. It offers a high Internet speed rather conveniently because one is always connected to the Internet.

The set-up is also easy with a self-installation kit. It also doesn’t have any effect on one’s phone line. 

There are several drawbacks to Cable Internet access. Firstly, it usually has a higher price as compared to DSL and Dial-up connection.

Secondly, it poses a higher security threat than the two mentioned connections. In addition, Cable Internet access is usually linked with cable TV subscription which may be inconvenient for some individuals. 

Main Differences Between Broadband and Cable

  1. While Broadband connotes a wide bandwidth data transmission, cable Internet refers to the transmission of Internet via cable networks. 
  2. Broadband offers several different mediums of internet access such as fiber, wireless, and satellite. Cable Internet is a variant of the Broadband connection. 
  3. Out of the two types of Broadband connections that is cable network and DSL, the former is a faster network. 
  4. While a Broadband network like DSL is inaccessible in farther locations, a cable network may be unavailable in rural areas. 
  5. An advantage of Broadband is that it may also provide an individual with cheap telephone services. In contrast, an advantage of cable is that it offers a robust internet connection regardless of the distance from the modem. 
Difference Between Broadband and Cable


Therefore, broadband and cable vary on several grounds. While the term Broadband connotes a wide variety of connection technologies such as satellite, coaxial cable, and optical fiber, Cable refers to the Internet access transmitted with the help of coaxial cable network. 

The choice of an ideal network varies from individual to individual. However, factors like price, availability, efficiency, speed, and features of each Internet access network are usually taken into consideration.

Nonetheless, broadband and cable vary on these grounds. 


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadband 
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cable_Internet_access 
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