Cable modem connections are a cost-effective, high-bandwidth Internet option for small and mid-sized businesses. Too bad, then, that few businesses can get those links, considering that cable companies have built their networks to primarily offer residential service.
Still, it’s worthwhile for businesses to check with their local cable company about cable modem service availability, due to the price and performance benefits. While a traditional T-1 line offering 1.5 mbps Internet access may cost $1,500 a month, a cable modem connection will deliver comparable connectivity for a fraction of the cost. Visit CABLE-MODEM.NET’s Service Availability page to connect to your local cable company.
Some cable companies offer a variety of business connectivity solutions. For example, Comcast Commercial Online offers managed cable modem and on-site proxy server packages. Pricing starts at $225 per month for a 256-kbps connection and rises to $695 per month for 1.5-mbps access. Cox Communications offers a business cable modem service called Cox@Work. In Phoenix, service starts at $265 per month for up to five business users.
Most cable companies offer business services using proprietary cable modem products from Motorola, Nortel, Terayon and Com21, among others. These modems may be directly connected to a business’ local area network (LAN) through a standard Ethernet link. For added security, some business customers also install a router between their cable modem and LAN.
Cisco Systems Inc. has developed the first integrated cable modem router product line. The Cisco uBR904 includes a standards-based DOCSIS cable modem; Cisco router with firewall capabilities; and four-port Ethernet hub in a compact design. Cisco’s uBR924 also adds two RJ-11 ports to support IP telephone and fax services. While this device is attractive for business users, it can only be used in markets where cable companies are offering cable modem services with standards-based DOCSIS equipment.