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DSL Categories

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DSL Categories Table

DSL Categories Table

DSL Type


Data Rate

Distance Limit



ISDN Digital Subscriber Line

128 Kbps

18,000 feet on 24 gauge wire

Similar to the ISDN BRI service but data only (no voice on the same line)


Consumer DSL
from Rockwell

1 Mbps downstream; less upstream

18,000 feet on 24 gauge wire

Splitter less home and small business service; similar to DSL Lite

DSL Lite (same as G.Lite)

"Splitterless" DSL without the "truck roll"

From 1.544 Mbps to 6 Mbps downstream, depending on the subscribed service

18,000 feet on 24 gauge wire

The standard ADSL; sacrifices speed for not having to install a splitter at the user's home or business

G.Lite (same as DSL Lite)

"Splitterless" DSL without the "truck roll"

From 1.544 Mbps to 6 Mbps , depending on the subscribed service

18,000 feet on 24 gauge wire

The standard ADSL; sacrifices speed for not having to install a splitter at the user's home or business


High bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line

1.544 Mbps duplex on two twisted-pair lines;
2.048 Mbps duplex on three twisted-pair lines

12,000 feet on 24 gauge wire

T1/E1 service between server and phone company or within a company;
WAN, LAN, server access


Symmetric DSL

1.544 Mbps duplex (U.S. and Canada); 2.048 Mbps (Europe) on a single duplex line downstream and upstream

12,000 feet on 24 gauge wire

Same as for HDSL but requiring only one line of twisted-pair


Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line

1.544 to 6.1 Mbps downstream;
16 to 640 Kbps upstream

1.544 Mbps at 18,000 feet;
2.048 Mbps at 16,000 feet;
6.312 Mpbs at 12,000 feet;
8.448 Mbps at 9,000 feet

Used for Internet and Web access, motion video, video on demand, remote LAN access


Rate-Adaptive DSL from Westell

Adapted to the line, 640 Kbps to 2.2 Mbps downstream; 272 Kbps to 1.088 Mbps upstream

Not provided

Similar to ADSL


Unidirectional DSL proposed by a company in Europe

Not known

Not known

Similar to HDSL


Very high Digital Subscriber Line

12.9 to 52.8 Mbps downstream;
1.5 to 2.3 Mbps upstream;
1.6 Mbps to 2.3 Mbps downstream

4,500 feet at 12.96 Mbps;
3,000 feet at 25.82 Mbps; 1,000 feet at 51.84 Mbps

ATM networks;
Fiber to the Neighborhood

Who's Offering It When. Here is a sample of current and planned offerings in the U.S. DSL is also offered in the UK and elsewhere.

*Verizon has announced plans for a wide deployment of ASDL in the Northeastern U.S. to both home and corporate customers. The service is currently offered in the Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington DC, New York City, and Northern New Jersey metropolitan areas. Additional markets will be announced in the future. Verizon offers what it calls Personal Infospeed DSL at speeds of 640 Kbps downstream and 90 Kbps upstream for $39.95 a month, or $59.95 a month including Internet access. Professional Infospeed offers speeds of 1.6 Mbps downstream and 90 Kbps upstream at $59.95 per month, or $109.95 per month with Internet access. Power Infospeed provides up to 7.1 Mbps downstream and 680 Kbps upstream for $109.95 per month, or $189.95 per month with Internet access. Network equipment providers are Alcatel, Globespan, and Westell. Among PC manufacturers that will support Infospeed technology are Apple Computer, Compaq, and Dell Computer.

* In the Midwest United States, Primary Network is offering DSL service to St. Louis, Missouri-area residents and businesses. Primary Network says that it is or will be the largest Midwest provider of DSL service, with 20 central office sites. Download maximums are between 384 Kbps and 1.54 Mbps. Upload maximums are between 128 Kbps and 384 Kbps. Prices start at $49.95 monthly and include Internet Access.

* COVAD is currently offering DSL in Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee, and in Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky, and plans to offer service in 25 other cities by early 2000.

* SBC Communications plans to bring ADSL to over 8 million homes in California, Missouri, and Texas by the beginning of 2000. In California, over 255 telephone company central offices will provide service to 5 million homes and 900,000 businesses. In Missouri and Texas, SBC's Southwestern Bell company will upgrade 271 central offices for 3.2 million homes and 440,000 businesses. Customers will need a $198 "ADSL modem" and will pay a basic $39 a month on yearly basis for unlimited service, or $49 with access to the Internet. Business or high-demand users can pay more and get faster download and upload speeds. For the basic rate, users are guaranteed 384 Kbps downstream and 128 Kbps upstream. Power users can get up to 6 Mbps downstream and 384 Kbps upstream.

* BellSouth is offering a splitter-based ADSL service in 30 markets through Network Service Provider (NSP) channels. BellSouth provides access to all DSL-qualified loops through a single asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) port in each of 13 LATAs in eight Southeastern states. Access One, BellSouth's service partner, has committed to deploy a minimum of 10,000 DSL lines to its customers over the next two years.

* Qwest (formerly US West) plans to offer DSL service in 40 cities in the western part of the U.S. Currently, DSL is offered in Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington. Qwest uses CAP modulation but says they are equipped to support DMT if that becomes a standard.

* NETinc, a Canadian company, is deploying ADSL in Hamilton, Ontario, using Paradyne technology. Dowstream data rates will be up to 7 Mbps and upstream up to 1 Mbps. Service to residences will be about $50 a month, to corporations $200 a month.



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