Cable providers often supply a cable modem free of charge, although of course you are paying for the rental of the modem in a monthly service fee. Many cable providers offer free or low-cost installation of cable Internet service, which includes installing a network card in a PC. Some providers also do not charge for the network card. Cable Internet costs are comparable to DSL subscription.
Most cable modems supply a 10Mbps Ethernet connection for the home LAN, although you wouldn't expect the actual Internet connection to reach these speeds. The actual speed of the connection can vary somewhat depending on the utilization of the shared cable line in your area. In day-to-day application, data rates range from 1.5Mbps to 3Mbps.
One of the biggest disadvantages of cable access is cited (by DSL providers at least) as the fact that you share the available bandwidth with everyone else in your cable area. As a result, during peak times, performance of a cable link might be poorer than in low-use periods. In residential areas, busy times are evenings and weekends, and particularly right after school. In general, though, performance with cable systems is good, and in low-usage periods, it can be very fast.