There are alot of similarities between digital subscriber line (DSL) and cable modems. Both perform the same task of providing broadband connectivity. Both are relatively recent additions to industries whose core cash cows are being squeezed by new entrants and changing technology. It's a mistake, however, not to see the differences. Though this is shifting somewhat, cable modems tend to have faster download speeds and a higher price tag. They are marketed very differently, and by industries with very different mentalities.
What does this mean to small and startup businesses? Plenty. For one thing, the vast differences in the challenges facing telcos and cable companies mean that the deals they can offer will differ as well. Moreover, throwing the two into the same basket will obscure the fierce market share war they are fighting—and bargains is the ammunition of such a war. It's important to remember that such bargains usually extend beyond data to voice and video services. So it is prudent to be aware of what cable and telephone companies are offering. Indeed, satellite companies also are making a broadband play, so it's wise for small businesses—especially those in rural areas—to keep abreast of them as well.