Cable modems use a cable infrastructure commonly used by cable television, to provide broadband internet access referred to as cable internet. The use of a cable modem allows one to take advantage of high bandwidth to access the internet, offering high-speed internet connectivity at home or office. The modem usually adheres to all the network protocols that govern networked systems. That means that it must work under the expected Ethernet networking protocols. Ethernet technologies work in local area networks and are generally identified by their use of hardware MAC addresses and use of data packets to communicate. Cable modems have been demonstrated to maintain high-speed connections despite the upstream and downstream users of the network by other different protocols simultaneously. This means that other systems like cable TV can operate while the high-speed broadband connection continues to function without a hitch.
The advent of voice over internet protocol or VoIP telephony has also seen the use of the cable modem take a different turn. By subscribing to 3rd-party services like Skype, subscribers can use the cable modem to make cheap calls thereby replacing the old telephone lines that do not offer dynamic links unless one subscribes to the telephone service. To improve the quality of calls made or received using the cable modem, a switch is placed down the line of the modem thereby giving the user 2 IP addresses, one for the router and the other for the voice gateway, which is not affected by the network activity.
On an average cable, each TV channel is given only 6 megahertz of cable bandwidth. This means one can access countless channels on a single cable which can sometimes contain hundreds of megahertz in bandwidth. A cable modem internet connection will usually take the same bandwidth as a TV channel of 6 megahertz. Since the data is sent from the internet, it is seen by the cable as just another TV channel. This also means that it takes up the same bandwidth space as any other TV channel. Upstream data however is a bit different. This is data that is sent from a personal computer to the internet. The bandwidth capability for this is even less, taking up only 2 megahertz of bandwidth. In order to download and upload using the cable TV system, it will require a cable modem and a cable modem termination system which is placed on the other end of the cable provider. Internet via cable modem is not affected by distance and this has likely made it a more popular option for many people.