DSL refers to phone and cable users (even though some companies offer different speeds) I prefer cable DSL when playing.
Pab et al,
Cable is different from DSL; while both are broadband, one use a thick cable with a shielded ground that can support GHz spectrum data transmissions and the other uses a twisted copper and with tweaking can hit a couple MBit without heating up too much as long as you aren't too far from the DSLAM (digital subscriber line concentrator) and the wiring from the pole to your point of attachment is in good condition and the cat hasn't pissed in your phone jacks for you.
Cable runs to a head end at the ISP site and then transfers to the backbone. DSL runs through the telco system switching systems either to their backbone connection or the connection or your chosen ISP.
Cable is faster because they can pump more data through the thick cable than you can pass through twisted copper pairs without melting them and so, you usually get better download band width with cable.
Soon, if you live in a more well to do area, you will be able to get fiber connections for cheap.
Sadly, while both an AT&T and a Sprint FO cable runs up my street, there are currently no plans to provision FO in an area within a block and a half of a housing project where the primary subscribers to phone service in the are on lifeline subscription.
So, I wil probably be switching back to cable when once I can dicker 5MBit down 1Mbit up to 2.5MBit both ways for the same price. :)