What is ADSL?

ADSL is an abbreviation of the name Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. ADSL is a technology that will offer faster connection speeds than the traditional Internet via dial-up telephone lines could offer. ADSL is the technology that drives many Internet connections worldwide. Although the new fiber technology allows faster connection to the Internet, ADSL is still a popular choice because of its flexibility. Fiber is being connected to more blocks or multi-dwelling houses, but ADSL allows the individual customer to decide for themselves because the technology uses existing metal cables into the home or the business premises.

When looking back at history of internet it’s hard to grasp why it became popular before ADSL launched with modems and routers that gave it completely new opportunities and speeds. All of a sudden the small blinking plastic boxes were in each home and office. But what about the future of ADSL?

When internet had its breakthrough among the masses somewhere int he mid 90s, households could connect to the web with called modems. These modems blocked the whole phone lines capacity and disabled phone calls while surfing. In addition, traffic never came up in any remarkable speeds even if some development happened to the technique.

What came to replace the called modems was the ADSL technique. ADSL does however use the phone lines for traffic, but does it at such high frequency that there’s plenty of capacity left for phone calls. An ADSL modem could deliver much higher speeds that its predecessor.

  • ADSL uses a higher frequency of the lines that the landline telephony
  • ADSL is a development of its predecessor
  • Modern ADSL solutions can deliver much faster speeds in comparison with the called modems
  • The letter A in ADSL stands for “Asymmetric”
  • ADSL technique was produced to send video on request via the telephony network
  • The majority of broadband connections today uses ADSL technique, but is more and more competing with fiber optics
  • A connection max speed depends on the distance to the nearest switching office


Technique with width and timing

If you interpret ADSL, you get “Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line”, and with a little knowledge in English you can hear that ADSL isn’t limited to use in the phone network. But the technique was launched at the same time as the phone plugs were left empty in favour of mobiles.

All metal lines that access houses can in theory be used by ADSL. But it’s still more common to get broadband delivered through the phone plug instead of the power plug or in the hole for cable tv in the wall. No variation excludes the other; ADSL through the phone plug can be spread throughout the power network in the house for better reception in a two story house.

Even if they can be used together with other broadband solutions, ADSL has a lot of smart additional functions. So called access points and switches are good exampels of easy to use as well as smart solutions to increase and improve a company’s network.

What does the future look like for ADSL?

The alternative that could get customers to leave their ADSL broadbands is the temptation of super fast fiber (which is developed in every big and medium sized city in the country). Meanwhile many seem to think that the speed is fully satisfactory in homes, maybe even with two connected phones, a computer and a smart tv in HD.

Another fact that favours ADSL technique is its flexibility. While fiber optic networks connect to the entire complex, or maybe even block, ADSL is something that individuals decide over. If two or more neighbours would want to share connection, this is easily done with the right router.

Wireless ADSL routers/modems with powerful signals provide both the big villa or the whole office with fast Wi-Fi are highly available on the market to reasonable prices. With new models more frequencies are sent than their predecessor, which minimizes signal interruptions thanks to the increased ether space. The future for ADSL looks bright.

ADSL standards 

Common name                  Downstream rate              Upstream rate                   Approved in
ADSL                                   8.0 Mbit/s                          1.0 Mbit/s                          1998
ADSL Lite (G.lite)               1.5 Mbit/s                          0.5 Mbit/s                          1999-07
ADSL (G.dmt)                     8.0 Mbit/s                          1.3 Mbit/s                          1999-07
ADSL over POTS                 12.0 Mbit/s                        1.3 Mbit/s                          2001
ADSL over ISDN                 12.0 Mbit/s                        1.8 Mbit/s                          2005
RE-ADSL2                            5.0 Mbit/s                          0.8 Mbit/s                          2002-07
ADSL2                                 12.0 Mbit/s                        1.3 Mbit/s                          2002-07
ADSL2                                 12.0 Mbit/s                        3.5 Mbit/s                          2002-07
Splitterless ADSL2             1.5 Mbit/s                          0.5 Mbit/s                          2002-07
ADSL2+                               24.0 Mbit/s                        1.4 Mbit/s                          2003-05
ADSL2+M                            24.0 Mbit/s                        3.3 Mbit/s                          2008