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ADSL is the more advanced version of the age-old Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) broadband service that still provides many small businesses with access to the World Wide Web. This analog internet connection rides on the same network that brings service to all residential households. With that in mind, speeds are prone to fluctuate throughout the day as home usage becomes more or less prominent. Thus, the speeds being offered cannot be guaranteed. When considering a business, this can potentially lead to nagging issues if uploading large amounts of information, as is the case with Voice over IP applications that rely on dedicated upstream speeds to ensure voice clarity. For these and other such reasons, this solution would prove to be less than adequate for more than 3-5 users.

Although fairly decent download speeds of up to 6Mbps are available and the connection is quite stable, DSL is inherently a distance-sensitive solution. If the business is located far away from the CO (Central Office), for instance in very remote rural areas, service will likely be spotty and throughput speeds will decrease, if it’s even available. Also, since DSL is considered a ‘best-effort’ product with no guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS), whenever the connection goes down you’re at the mercy of the technicians’ ability to get things up and running.

With that said, however, since DSL is an analog service, a business can avoid excessive downtime by connecting the DSL modem to an uninterrupted power supply (ie. battery) that will ensure continuation of service. Also, when considering the importance of Business Continuity, DSL is a great candidate. With possible network difficulties and outages from just about every provider, the only way to truly get around outages is to have a solid backup plan, and a DSL connection with an Uninterrupted Power Supply can offer a sure-fire way to make outgoing calls and have internet when a company’s primary circuit is down.

While ADSL is a more widely known and prevalent form of broadband provisioning, a faster and more robust variation of DSL, known as Very High-bit-rate DSL (or VHDSL), is steadily replacing the outdated ADSL platform. This is especially true in newer housing and commercial developments, as well as in areas where service was previously unavailable. VHDSL is able to offer significant upgrades in data transmission speeds due the method of delivery used, with packets travelling over a single flat untwisted or twisted pair of copper wires, and on coaxial cable.

With the capacity to deploy data at rates exceeding 100 Mbit/s simultaneously in both the upstream and downstream directions, VHDSL is capable of supporting applications such as high-definition television as well as voice over IP, while still allocating plenty of bandwidth for general Internet use, all over a single connection. Although available speeds being offered are likely to vary from one location to the next, and corresponding television services are currently very limited to certain areas, the pricing point is sure to be aggressive wherever this service is available.