Term:DSL [Digital Subscriber Line]

DSL is an acronym for Digital Subscriber Line, a technology that transmits digital data across existing voice telephone lines.

DSL is more correctly referred to as ADSL in most cases. The “A” stands for asymmetric, which means that data is transmitted faster in one direction than the other. In most cases, that means that the download speed of an ADSL connection is faster than the upload speed. This tradeoff reflects the fact that in normal internet usage, people download significantly more than they upload.

DSL coexists with voice (a.k.a. POTS) on the same wires by being transmitted at frequencies above human hearing.

DSL (Wikipedia)

Digital subscriber line (DSL; originally digital subscriber loop) is a family of technologies that are used to transmit digital data over telephone lines. In telecommunications marketing, the term DSL is widely understood to mean asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL), the most commonly installed DSL technology, for Internet access.

DSL service can be delivered simultaneously with wired telephone service on the same telephone line since DSL uses higher frequency bands for data. On the customer premises, a DSL filter on each non-DSL outlet blocks any high-frequency interference to enable simultaneous use of the voice and DSL services.

The bit rate of consumer DSL services typically ranges from 256 kbit/s to over 100 Mbit/s in the direction to the customer (downstream), depending on DSL technology, line conditions, and service-level implementation. Bit rates of 1 Gbit/s have been reached.

In ADSL, the data throughput in the upstream direction (the direction to the service provider) is lower, hence the designation of asymmetric service. In symmetric digital subscriber line (SDSL) services, the downstream and upstream data rates are equal. Researchers at Bell Labs have reached speeds over 1 Gbit/s for symmetrical broadband access services using traditional copper telephone lines, though such speeds have not yet been deployed elsewhere.

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