RCN offers broadband Internet, digital cable TV, and phone plans via three network types: hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC) “cable”, DSL, and fiber optic.
RCN’s “cable” HFC network is their most widely available option. Like most cable broadband networks, data is delivered via fiber to a local node within subscriber areas, where the data is switched over to an electrical signal for transmission via the existing coaxial cable networks originally installed for cable TV service. Using existing copper cables for the last leg of the journey makes cable broadband somewhat slower than true “fiber” connections, but saves the high up-front cost of purchasing and installing brand new cables for the company.
RCN’s fiber plans generally terminate inside or very near the building, allowing for speed several times those offered by traditional DSL and cable networks. Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) connections are widely considered the premium option for home Internet access, and true FTTH connections offer the highest bandwidth and lowest latency available today.