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Cable edges out ADSL

PC Advisor poll favours cable, but only just

The majority of PC Advisor readers would opt for a cable broadband connection in preference to ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line), according to a recent poll on the PC Advisor website.

But it was a close run thing, with cable pipping ADSL to the post by attracting the vote of 51.8 percent of the 2,649 respondents. ADSL was just edged out, garnering 48.2 percent.

These figure are also far lower than those generally bandied about by the UK's two remaining cable companies: Telewest and NTL. Telewest, for example, claims an 80/20 split in favour cable in its franchise areas.

Cable remains well ahead ADSL in terms of broadband takeup in the UK. According to July figures from Oftel, cable broadband installations stood at 419,000 compared with 280,000 for ADSL.

For home users, cable remains the best option if raw speed is the major concern. Only NTL and Telewest can offer 1Mbps (megabit per second) connection speeds at domestic price points.

Setup costs also remain low for cable — usually £50 for an engineer-assisted installation. Future speed upgrades with minimal fuss are round the corner, with 1.5, 2 and even 3Mbps services in the offing.

While some have questioned the need or demand for such speeds, PC Advisor readers have indicated their thirst for faster broadband connections. In another recent poll, a third (33.1 percent) of respondents stated they would take the fastest service they could get when it comes to broadband for the home.

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