A baseband coaxial cable, commonly called an Ethernet cable, is a 50-ohm cable that transmits an unmodulated digital signal. Transmission in baseband cables is bidirectional, meaning a signal inserted at any point propagates in both directions. Baseband cables are commonly used in local area networks. Broadband coaxial cables are 75-ohm cables that transmit modulated, analog signals. Broadband cables are unidirectional, but can compensate for this by dividing into different channels.
Baseband cables are not capable of transmitting more than one signal at a time, and the transmissions are restricted to data and voice. Additionally, baseband cables exceeding 0.62 mile in length experience a steady drop in transmission rates unless an amplifier is used. However, advantages of using baseband cable are the associated low cost and the ease of use. Another benefit of using baseband cable is the absence of a modem because the cable's signals are already digital.
Broadband cables are capable of transmitting many signals simultaneously because each signal, or channel, travels at a different frequency. These multiple channels make it possible for broadband cables to transmit as much as 100 megabytes per second. Some other advantages of broadband cable are its capability to receive videos, as well as data and voice, and its potential to cover greater distances. Maintenance issues and high costs are some of the problems with broadband cable use.