Cable internet uses the same infrastructure as cable television (coax cable). This means the connection comes from a cable operator facility and connects to a modem to deliver the connection to the user. This is also called asymmetrical communication. (Which means it is not the same speed up and down) This can affect the latency and cause delays in data packets. Cable internet systems can typically operate at great distance from the cable operator switch.
In past 3 or 4 years cable companies have also started bringing fiber into some downtown buildings, however this has been very limited. Just like all carriers this is a more expensive symmetrical solution.
T1 (symmetrical) vs Cable (asymmetrical) for Business Internet Service:
There are a number of pros and cons for each service type. Cable vs T1 lines have a number of factors which can affect speed, up-time, latency, packet loss, and repair time-frames. Cable is really pretty bad for hosted phone systems. Qos (quality of service) is needed for hosted solutions and cable simply does not offer it at this time. T1 or Ethernet service is still the best solution for this new type of phone service.
Benefits of Cable Internet for Business
T1 Internet service comes at a higher cost compared to Cable internet, however the T1 has many advantages. If budget is the ultimate goal and your business wants to spend as little as possible on their internet connection, Cable internet is a great choice. It provides a simple and fast form of internet and although it is not the most reliable connection available, it will perform at a high level for your business. Small business cable internet is a good choice.