DSL – The Backbone of the Common Place Internet

April 27, 2008 by
Filed under: Broadband 

Why on earth would someone make a statement like that…"The backbone of the commonplace internet?" What exactly is that suppose to mean? It means what it says. DSL is the workhorse of the internet as we know it today. Many people would argue with me that things like T3, DS3 or direct fiber lines carry the most traffic.

That may be well and true, but the majority of Americans who actually use the internet, don’t have a DS3 or T3 or even a T1. They live in the real world where usually the best they can have offered is some form of DSL or cable service. Yes, there are some newly constructed areas which have fiber connections available, however, they are far from being a majority or even a number significant to be noticed in the total number of overall internet users.

Yes, there are a large number of cable users who have their internet service delivered via the local cable company. Cable claims great speeds up to 20mbs, and possibly on rare occasions you might actually see speeds that approach about 2/3rds or that threshold. But the moon is probably blue and its 3:30 a.m. when the rest of the neighborhood is in bed. When internet service via cable was first introduced it was a great deal because few people had it. Now that more and more people are using it, it is becoming less and less effective because of the shared feed system that most systems use to deliver bandwidth over cable.

What this means is that the junction point from where cable internet service is provided in your local neighborhood only has a finite amount of bandwidth available. The more people who are connected to that junction point, the less bandwidth is available to each user of the shared access point. This didn’t use to be a big concern. However, more and more, with internet activity becoming more a part of everyday life for a greater amount of people it has become apparent to many cable users that the great deal isn’t such a great deal after all.

DSL speeds vary from 256kbs to 8mbs depending on your service plan and distance from the main switching station of the local telecom company. The advantage that DSL has over cable is that it is fairly consistent speed wise, and in many places is now cheaper then service provided by cable.

Then, of course, there is still dial up. New companies claim to have access speeds approaching those of DSL which, of course, is a bit of a stretch no matter how you slice it. What they don’t tell you is "those speeds approaching DSL speed are burst speeds that might actually reach the 56k limitation of simple modem to modem dial up access. One needs to look closely at the fine print in the ads of those companies which claim super fast dialup service. For example one company states in fine print at the bottom of their ad that their fast service is not a broadband service and actual data transmission rates are not faster than standard dial-up Internet service.

One other avenue to the internet for home users is satellite internet service. Again, satellite is one of those services that never quite live up to its tout. Many companies claim up to 1.5mbs speeds when in actuality the speeds are more in the range of 512 to 756kbs. That is if you are lucky to have a good clear sky and a strong signal. The down side of satellite internet service is the cost. It is generally about double or even triple the cost of a similar DSL service. The advantage that satellite service has is it is virtually available anywhere, making it a popular choice of those who live in very remote areas where cable and DSL service is not available.

So back to my original statement that DSL is the backbone of the internet, meaning it is the workhorse of the internet. Studies have proven that clearly 77% of those connecting to the internet these days have chosen some from of broadband service. Of that 77% DSL is currently edging out cable. Not so much because it is dramatically superior to cable, but because satellite television has gained market share. Those who once subscribed to cable and now use satellite television no longer have cable accesses for internet service and have generally opted for DSL service.

In conclusion I think it would be safe to say that without all the people who use DSL service those big companies who invest in large fiber optic trunk lines to transfer copious amounts of information and sell billions of dollars of products each and every year, would find the internet a far less profitable place to do business if it were not for all of the DSL users in the world today.

Article Autor:Scott Best          To learn more , check out the myfreedomdsl.com site.


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