Subscriber Line (DSL)
The accelerated growth of
content-rich applications that demand high bandwidth has changed the nature of
information networks. High-speed communication is now an ordinary requirement
throughout business, government, academic, and "work-at-home" environments.
High-speed Internet access, telecommuting, and remote LAN access are three services
that network access providers clearly must offer. These rapidly growing applications
are placing a new level of demand on the telephone infrastructure, in particular,
the local loop portion of the network (i.e., the local connection from the subscriber
to the local central office). The local loop facility is provisioned with copper
which cannot easily support high bandwidth transmission. This environment
is now being stressed by the demand for increasingly higher bandwidth capacities.
Although this infrastructure could be replaced by a massive rollout of fiber technologies,
the cost to do so is prohibitive in today's business models.
importantly, the time to accomplish such a transition is unacceptable, because
the market demand exists today!
This demand for data services has created
a significant market opportunity for providers that are willing and able to invest
in technologies that maximize the copper infrastructure. Both incumbent and competitive
Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs and CLECs) are capitalizing on this opportunity
by embracing such technologies. The mass deployment of high-speed Digital Subscriber
Line (DSL) has changed the playing field for service providers. DSL, which encompasses
several different technologies, essentially allows the extension of megabit bandwidth
capacities from the service provider central office to the customer premises.
Utilizing existing copper cabling, DSL is available at
very reasonable costs
without the need for massive infrastructure replacement.
new DSL solutions satisfy the business need to provision the network in a fast,
cost-effective manner, while both preserving the infrastructure and allowing a
planned migration into newer technologies. DSL has the proven ability to meet
the customer demand for high bandwidth right now, at costs that make sense. ADSL,
or Asymmetric DSL, has emerged as thetechnology of choice for delivering greater
throughputto the desktop. Currently, the ADSL Lite specification,also known as
g.lite, is expected to be standardized bythe end of June, 1999 as a low-cost,
easy-to-installversion of ADSL specifically designed for the consumer marketplace.
While g.lite is expected to become the predominant standard for consumer services,
HDSL2 is becoming the protocol of choice for business services
on HDSL2 to come)
industry has developed and deployed cost-effective technologies and created global,
high-bandwidth, interoffice networks capable of supporting the demands of the
information age. This network infrastructure, however, has been lacking one significant
componenta ubiquitous low-cost, high-bandwidth access circuit for the local
loop. This fact, more than any other, has slowed the growth and availability of
high-bandwidth network services. The pervasive copper cable infrastructure deployed
throughout the local loop was historically incapable of supporting the throughput
required by growing consumer traffic. In response, the industry embraced DSL,
which has proven to be the most significant technological development for solving
the local loop demand for higher bandwidth.
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