Many individuals view all Internet connections as the same, but the method used to support that connection can make all the difference when having to decide which to acquire. It is important to identify the differences and similarities. Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) and fixed wireless Internet are two Internet solutions often compared when choosing a broadband service. We analyse one of the first methods of connectivity, DSL, and compare it to fixed wireless Internet solution, an increasingly popular choice.
What is DSL?
DSL is a high-speed Internet service that has a physical (cable and fibre) connection from the ISP (Internet Service Provider) to a building. The broadband modem technology allows for both an Internet and a telephone service to be used at the same time. There are many variants of DSL including Symmetrical DSL which offers equal bandwidth for upload and download speeds. Asymmetrical DSL (ADSL) is the most popular type of DSL connection since most people download more information than they are uploading. Because of this, an asymmetrical connection has more downstream bandwidth and less upstream bandwidth.
Issues with DSL
Although DSL has been around for quite some time, it is associated with several problems, speed being one of the major issues. Speed is limited by distance and DSL Internet decreases with increased distance from the local exchange. Consequently, if an office is not located close to the provider, users will experience delays. Dated copper telephone wiring compared to wireless infrastructure and fibre optic cables mean all variants of DSL lag behind. Slow download speeds impede typical online activities and slow upload speeds can restrict the ability to add files and manage cloud-based applications.
DSL users can experience a spotty connection if phone usage becomes heavy. This is because DSL makes use of spare phone lines to handle the extra call volume resulting in usage restriction. Thus, DSL is associated with slower speeds and reduced quality compared to more expensive alternatives.