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Cable modems may offer unreliable bandwidth

Library Systems Newsletter [May 2000]

An increasing number of libraries are signing up for cable modems, rather than point-to-point, frame relay, or DSL service from a telco. The attraction is broad bandwidth at low cost, but a drawback exists: The bandwidth is not guaranteed. Cable companies usually install nodes that serve several customers, the equivalent of the telephone party line. A customer may have 1.3 Mbps of bandwidth available during off-peak periods but can experience a drop to 160 Kbps during peak periods. That is not a problem for residential users, small businesses, and small branch libraries, but it is a problem for libraries seeking to support a score of automated library system and Internet users.

Before signing a contract for cable modems, a library should seek to negotiate a minimum bandwidth commitment. Although a commitment is not the same as a guarantee, it does mean that the number of users sharing the node will be limited and credits will be extended if the bandwidth drops below the committed level.

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Publication Year:2000
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Published in: Library Systems Newsletter
Publication Info:Volume 20 Number 05
Issue:May 2000
Publisher:American Library Association
Place of Publication:Chicago, IL
Notes:Howard S. White, Editor-in-Chief; Richard W. Boss, Contributing Editor
Subject: Internet access -- methods
Record Number:7098
Last Update:2024-05-21 18:29:16
Date Created:0000-00-00 00:00:00