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Sahm Adrangi on Internet Connections

Speed, reliability, and cost are the 3 pillars of household internet connectivity choice. Whether you’re connecting for work or play, here’s a rundown on the most commonly used Internet connections today and their place in the market.

My name is Sahm Adrangi, and I am the CIO of Kerrisdale Capital Management. At Kerrisdale Capital, we focus our efforts on the publishing of research on companies that we believe to be misguided in the market. As Sahm Adrangi, a short activist, I have published numerous reports in the satellite and telecommunications industry.

Different Types of Internet Connections

According to a survey conducted by Statistica in 2017,  85% of households in the US have an internet subscription. Here are those subscriptions ranked from most popular to least.

  • Broadband of any type 85.1%
  • Cellular data plan 75.7%
  • Cable, DSL, or fiber optics 69.6%
  • No subscription or no internet access 14.7%
  • Cellular data plan only 11.6%
  • Satellite 6.9%
  • Dial-up only .3%


More than 2 million people are still using dial-up

It might be surprising, but as of 2017 more than 2 million people were still using dial-up internet in the US. Dial-up (aka analog) remains cheap and is most often used in rural areas that don’t receive satellite or cellular coverage. An internal or external modem is used to connect to the after your computer dials a phone number. The modem converts the analog signal to digital which is sent over a land-line.

DSL and Cable

69.6 of US households use cable, DSL, or fiber optics to connect to the internet.

DSL and Cable aren’t the same thing. DSL connects you to the internet through standard phone lines (without tying up your connection), while cable goes through cable lines. Cable has more bandwidth, so it’s generally faster with speeds averaging 20 Mbps. However, some networks may experience delays if an entire neighborhood is using cable internet.

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75% of people say that a week without WiFi would leave them grumpier than a week without coffee. (Iconic Displays)

Wireless internet doesn’t require cables or phone lines. Rather, radio frequencies are used to connect your devices to the internet. Like DSL, wireless is always “on” and you can tap into it from just about anywhere. Speeds vary depending on coverage, but many people use signal boosters called Wi-Fi extenders to improve performance.


Only 6.9% of households in the US use satellite to access the internet. (Statistica)

Satellite connections provide internet access via satellites. In areas where cable internet isn’t available, satellite modems can get you online. Speeds won’t be comparable to DSL or cable, but it is much more versatile than other options.


63.4 percent of mobile phone users access the internet with their phones.

Like Wi-Fi, Cellular internet access is wire and cable free. Depending on your provider, your phone probably operates on 3G or 4G speeds. In other words, the 3rd or 4th generation of cellular network standards. 3G operates at about 2.0 Mbps, whereas 4G typically peaks at 21 Mbps. Cellular internet connections are especially handy because it’s so popular and easily accessed.

At Kerrisdale Capital we use investigative research to discover more about the industries and companies we invest or short, such as the satellite and telecommunications industries. I, Sahm Adrangi, publish our findings in an effort to inform the public. As Sahm Adrangi, a short activist and investment officer at Kerrisdale Capital, I feel it is our duty to inform others on broadly held misconceptions in the market.

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Learn more about Sahm Adrangi

Sahm Adrangi founded Kerrisdale Capital Management in 2009. Mr. Adrangi is well known for short selling and publishing research. Kerrisdale Capital shares its research on its website, Twitter, and third-party investing-related sites. Specifically, Kerrisdale Capital focuses on research in biotechnology, mining, and satellite communications.