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The ability to provide separate voice and data "channels" on the same line is one of the aspects of DSL technology that makes it so attractive to the telephone companies. Standard ADSL service requires the use of a "splitter" on both ends, to separate the voice channel from the data channels. One advantage of being able to split the data and voice like this is that the phone companies can keep them on separate networks. The Internet data calls can stop clogging up the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone System) and be sent directly to the packet-switched network. With the advent of G.Lite DSL, the service can now be deployed to homes without even the need for a telephone company installed splitter -- hence in addition to its other acronyms this service is often referred to as "splitterless-DSL." The exciting promise of DSL lies in this ability to implement the service easily with existing phone wiring. By being able to offer a high-speed data service that will work on your existing phone line -- and can be turned on without any installation visit -- the potential audience and rate of deployment far surpasses other high-speed options.
ADSL and G.Lite Pluses ADSL works well for two types of applications, interactive video and high-speed data communications. High-speed data services break out into two main areas, Internet access and remote LAN access, the realm of telecommuters. In this article we focus on using ADSL for high-speed Internet access. Besides higher bandwidth, some of the advantages of ADSL access from telephone companies are that there are no per-minute charges, and you get an "always-on" connection for your monthly fee. G.Lite ADSL was developed as a cheaper, lower bandwidth version of ADSL service, that could be turned on without a visit from a telephone technician. Companies like Microsoft, Compaq and Intel have been involved in the G.Lite effort, all hoping to establish a high-speed data service that is as easy for consumers to install as today's analog modems. In late 1998, G.992.2 was adopted by the ITU as the standard that began as the G.Lite. Formal ratification of the new G.992.2 standard is official as of June 1999. At 1.5 Mbps downstream and 386 Kbps upstream, G.Lite DSL is still 8 to 10 times faster than the ISDN services offered today for Internet access, and more than 25 times faster than 56k modems. Most providers are not yet offering G.Lite ADSL service, but you can expect this to change in the near future. If you order an ADSL service today, you will most likely still need a technician to visit and install an ADSL splitter.

One consideration is that with today's DSL you have to be within 18,000 feet of the telephone company central office, and sometimes less. Estimates have placed just over half of US residences within DSL range of their central office.


The quality of the wiring is an issue as well. Even if you live within the distance requirement of a central office equipped for DSL, if your neighborhood or building has deteriorating telephone cable it still may not work. In these cases the local phone company may be able to provide a "cleaned" or "conditioned" line for you, but you will pay dearly for this. In some instances DSL circuits can suffer from interference from telephone handsets, or poorly functioning telephones. It may be necessary to install by-pass filters at offending telephone jacks, or replace some telephone instruments.

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