DSL and cable broadband are terms that are often used in conjunction with each other. In the industry, broadband basically denotes “cable.” DSL, which stands for Digital Subscriber Line, is an Internet connection that uses the wires of a telephone network to deliver connectivity.
Both broadband and DSL are similar in many ways. Both are usually asymmetrical and a “shared service.” And, DSL is distance sensitive. Asymmetrical means you receive much faster download speeds than upload speeds. A symmetrical service would be the same down and up, such as 10MB x 10MB rather than 10MB x 1MB. Both usually are not “dedicated” services but services are shared with others in your neighborhood or on your “loop.” This means your speeds could be affected by what others are doing on your “shared service.” In addition, since these services are not dedicated, they are backed up by business-grade Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
That being said, both can cost-effectively provide very high speeds. And, thus, they are both very viable solutions for businesses, depending on their needs and location.
Fiber optic network services—fiber to the premise (FTTP)—exist as well. They are similar in nature in that they are a shared service and can be cost effective. Examples include AT&T U-verse®, Verizon FiOS®, and CBTS Fioptics®.