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Digital subscriber line

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Digital subscriber line (DSL) is a family of technologies that provides digital data transmission over the wires of a local telephone network. DSL originally stood for digital subscriber loop. In telecommunications marketing, the term DSL is widely understood to mean Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL), the most commonly installed DSL technology. DSL service is delivered simultaneously with wired telephone service on the same telephone line. This is possible because DSL uses higher frequency bands for data separated by filtering. On the customer premises, a DSL filter on each outlet removes the high frequency interference, to enable simultaneous use of the telephone and data.

The data bit rate of consumer DSL services typically ranges from 256 kbit/s to 40 Mbit/s in the direction to the customer (downstream), depending on DSL technology, line conditions, and service-level implementation. 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.

naked DSL (a.k.a. standalone or dry loop DSL) is a way of providing DSL services without a PSTN (analogue telephony) service. It is useful when the customer does not need the traditional telephony voice service because voice service is received either on top of the DSL services (usually Voice over IP) or through another network (mobile telephony).

It is also commonly called a “UNE” for Unbundled Network Element, in the USA. It has started making a comeback in the US in 2004 whenQwest started offering it, closely followed by Speakeasy. As a result of AT&T‘s merger with SBC,and Verizon‘s merger with MCI,those telephone companies have an obligation to offer naked DSL to consumers.

Even without the regulatory mandate, however, many ILECs offer naked DSL to consumers. The number of telephone landlines in the US dropped from 188 million in 2000 to 172 million in 2005, while the number of cellular subscribers has grown to 195 million (277 million as of 2010).This lack of demand for landline voice service has resulted in the expansion of naked DSL availability.

Naked DSL products are also marketed in some other countries e.g. Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

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