DSL – What does DSL mean and stand for?

Definition and Meaning

The acronym DSL is short for Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) or digital subscriber loop as it was originally called. This is a number of technologies that fall into the same family which is designed to transmit digital data over traditional telephone lines. When it comes to the marketing aspect, DSL is often called asymmetrical digital subscriber lines (ADSL) which convey internet access over traditional telephone lines. DSL can be carried at the same time with traditional wired telephone service because it uses higher frequency bands to transmit the data.

Most bit rates for consumers using DSL ranges from 256kbits up to more than 100Mbits depending on the technology, line, service level that was selected. Most home today have the capability of bit rates up to 800Mbits, although the technology will no doubt progress to faster speeds. There are asymmetrical where the upstream direction is used mostly and symmetrical DSL where the downstream and upstream rates match.

Although the beginnings of DSL go back for decades, the first true use of the technology was developed in 1979 when a patent was created for the use of existing telephone wires to transmit data connections such as remote computers over a digital data carrying system. However, the cost for the digital signal processors used for DSL was prohibitive until the late 1990s. By the turn of the 21st century, DSL was not only employed on telephone lines but broadband cable as well. Today, DSL is far and away the dominant technology used for broadband access with nearly 365 million subscribers around the world.

Terms related to DSL

  • What is digital subscriber line?
  • What does DSL stand for on internet?
  • What does DSL mean in computer terms?

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