Chapter 3

Household Internet Connections

3.1. Network cables

3.1.1. Introduction

Cabled network operators (also called cable TV operators) are amongst the agents now having access to domestic households. Initially, their offer was limited to simultaneous real-time broadcasting of multiple television programs to their subscribers.

In some buildings, these cable operators have replaced antenna reception to provide all households with “free” channels broadcast over clear channels – in analog or digital – which, in France is called “antenna service”.

All the other programs broadcast by cable are encrypted and their access is gained by means of a set-top box (STB) with subscription to one or another of the program packages proposed by the operator.

As background, coaxial cable was invented in 1929 by Lloyd Espenschiel and Hermann Affel. AT&T produced a link by cable between New York and Philadelphia in order to carry out line transmission tests. Coaxial cable was, until the invention of fiber optics, the main means of long distance communication.

The cabled network used to provide households with television programs today is very widespread in the United States. Most houses and buildings in America have access to cable.

Cable is used on the inside of American households to bring television to every room, notably living rooms and bedrooms. The same goes for Northern Europe since the beginning of the 1980s.

In order to take on their competitors using other television broadcasting modes, ...

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