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cable modem
Last modified: Thursday, July 14, 2005 

A modem designed to operate over cable TV lines. Because the coaxial cable used by cable TV provides much greater bandwidth than telephone lines, a cable modem can be used to achieve extremely fast access to the World Wide Web. This, combined with the fact that millions of homes are already wired for cable TV, has made the cable modem something of a holy grail for Internet and cable TV companies.

There are a number of technical difficulties, however. One is that the cable TV infrastructure is designed to broadcast TV signals in just one direction - from the cable TV company to people's homes. The Internet, however, is a two-way system where data also needs to flow from the client to the server. In addition, it is still unknown whether the cable TV networks can handle the traffic that would ensue if millions of users began using the system for Internet access.

Despite these problems, cable modems that offer speeds up to 2 Mbps are already available in many areas.

Also see Cable vs. DSL in Webopedia's "Did You Know...?" section.

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For pages about cable modem . Also check out the following links!

Related Links

Article on cable modems 
This Byte magazine article, from September 1996, provides information on the development of technologies that will solve bandwidth problems, with information on cable modems, ADSL, copper vs. coaxial, phone and cable problems, and infrastructure debates.

Cable modem resource site 
This resource page contains links to cable modem systems, including manufacturers, system trials, organizations, articles, and papers.

CableLabs Web site 
Defines interface requirements for cable modems involved in high-speed data distribution over cable television networks.

Cable modem FAQ
FAQ focusing on the speed of the cable modems, Internet traffic, and deployment issues.

Cable Modem Information
Provides links to sites that describe how cable modems work, as well as resources for software and tools, and information on sharing modems.

CableLabs home page
Home page for Cable Television Laboratories. Here, you'll find links to their research and development projects in the area of cable technology, collaboration efforts, cable Web sites, publications, and news.

Sharing Cable Modems
Good resource for information on sharing a cable modem connection with multiple computers. Contains clear, easy-to-follow instructions for both the PC and Mac, as well as other related resources.

Yahoo!'s cable modems page
Yahoo!'s directory of cable modems.

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related categories



Peripheral Devices

related terms

cable head-end




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