The language of telecommunications takes some getting used to, so here is a brief summary of the basics.
Line Technologies are:
Fiber to the Premise (FTTP) is the “Gold Standard” in broadband technology. FTTP is the most expensive to deploy, but can deliver consistently high speeds reaching 1 Gigabit (1,000 Mbps) and higher.
The companies can “data cap’ you for wireless, meaning go over = pay more. Fiber is a fixed monthly fee for service and competitive via ISP providers.
Cable Modem uses coaxial cable connection to deliver broadband with download speeds ranging from 6 Megabits (Mbps) to over 50 Mbps. Bandwidth is managed through shared connections. Therefore, although broadband is widely available throughout New York State, advertised speeds may not always be maintained during peak usage times.
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) uses copper telephone lines to deliver broadband with download speeds generally fewer than 10 Mbps. Aging networks can degrade service over time, which can decrease speeds delivered to the home.
Note; Many people will connect their DSL into a Router (NetGear/Linksys, etc.) and then use its the router’s wireless transmission in their homes to connect to growing list of ‘smart home’ devices such telephones, computers, TVs, DVD players, game consoles, security systems, home/pet watch cams, heating and ventilation systems, even cooking and cleaning equipment.
Broadband Over Power Lines (BPL) uses existing electric wiring along with fiber to deliver broadband through electric outlets. Requires special equipment installed at the home with limited availability in New York State. Not to be confused with in-home power line devises that use the wires in your home for the same purpose.
Wireless Technologies are:
Fixed Wireless/ WiMax uses a combination of a fiber backbone and wireless towers to deliver broadband at speeds comparable to DSL. It is quickly deployed at lower costs with a wide reach. Many plans have data usage caps.
Mobile Broadband is a combination of cellular and data service generally for use on mobile devices. Typically complements wireline connections, but some companies provide home broadband service delivered over mobile broadband networks. Many plans have caps that limit usage.
Satellite is a two-way transmission of Internet data passed between satellite and a dish placed at the home. Because data traverses long distances, latency delays can occur. Most plans have data caps, but satellite broadband is 100% available in New York State.
White Space is an emerging technology that uses the empty fragments of TV spectrum scattered between frequencies. It is less expensive to deploy in areas without major infrastructure, with the ability to travel through physical obstacles, such as trees and mountains, without diminished signal. The FCC requires networks to follow strict requirements not to interfere with existing broadcasts.