**I just noticed that the FAQ “Internet Requirements Guide” says DSL is not acceptable for streaming HD, which is nonsense. I’ve been a cord-cutter using DSL since 2010, and I’m not even trying hard. I’d like to get that updated, if possible.**
**People say: “DSL is too slow for cord-cutters”**
Maybe, but not definitely, and it depends. Don’t skip over looking at it, especially if your cable company is expensive, limiting, or making you furious.
The most common DSL service in the US is **ADSL** (or ADSL2+), which maxes out at 24 Mbps down and 3.3 up. And, that speed starts to degrade the farther you get from wherever the node is.
ADSL down to 15 Mbps still might be a good option for people that max out with a 1-2 streams of HD video. My family was using 20 Mbps ADSL internet up until 2017, and I don’t remember ever having an issue with bandwidth, and we game, stream video, wifi calling, video calls, everything.
It’s not true that everyone needs 50+ mbps for streaming video. That’s a sales tactic. A 1080p Netflix/Hulu stream is only 4.3-5.8 mbps.
But **VDSL** (and VDSL2) is a newer technology that is getting more widespread, and we recently upgraded to it for $40/month unlimited. It can transmit up to 100Mbps close to the source. The speed degradation still happens over distances, but it can maintain 40Mbps and up at pretty good suburban distances.
~~Sadly, anything slower than ADSL at 15 mbps is probably not going to cut it.~~ Updated: People are saying 5-15 mbps is fine for some cord-cutting users. Obviously, you are hitting the top end more often at slower speeds, but 720p Netflix maxes out at 3 mbps for a single stream, so it is possible.
**But Cable is a direct line, and DSL is shared with neighbors**
I hear this all the time, which is odd, because it’s technically not as true for DSL as it is for cable, but maybe it has the *appearance* of being true for DSL in your area?
DSL is a direct connection from your home to a node, which then connects upstream to the central office and the backbone using a larger pipe. That twisted pair connection from the large pipe to your house is the “last mile”, and on DSL, it’s dedicated to your house.
Cable is not a direct line from your house to the last-mile node. But, the big copper cable wires can sustain a lot more bandwidth in total, so it may not be noticeable that you’re sharing it with your neighbors.
Any node can be a bottleneck and it really depends on how oversubscribed your local area’s is, cable or DSL. I’ve never noticeably had any issues.