August 10, 2017 by Gregory Bathrick

Will we ever say goodbye to DSL? Never!


With DSL representing the largest share of the world’s fixed broadband at 43 percent, there is no way we are going to see it disappear anytime soon. DSL providers have nearly 20 years of experience providing an economical solution for broadband, especially when serving rural and dispersed subscribers. With both operational and technological advancements during that time, DSL has found its place as a competitive broadband option and will continue be one as service providers deploy the new VDSL2 35b standard for speeds up to 600 Mbps.

During the last two decades, service providers have invested heavily in their back-office systems by integrating zero-touch provisioning for their DSL systems, significantly lowering their operational costs. This removed the need for prolonged and error prone provisioning typically completed by the technician on site when new equipment is added.

There have also been several DSL technology innovations over the past 20 years, that have improved the subscriber experience. Standards bodies have increased download speeds by 200x from the early ITU-T G.Lite standard at 1.5Mbps to today’s most recent standard, VDSL2 35b at 300Mbps or 600Mbps when using two pairs.

When looking ahead, VDSL2 35b will support operational compatibility with currently deployed DSL. By sharing the same modulation scheme, frequency division duplexing (FDD), and the 35Mhz frequency, service providers can readily introduce VDSL2 35b to existing subscriber service areas.

Maximum DSL speeds are dependent on the subscriber’s distance from DSLAM. With VDSL2 35b, subscribers who are less than 1000 feet from the DSLAM can expect over 300 Mbps, dropping gradually to 125 Mbps at 2000 feet at which point the service automatically falls back to VDSL2 17a.

With these advancements, it’s clear that service providers delivering broadband over copper continue to have a lot of options to meet the demands of subscribers.