Friday, December 23, 2005

Let Them Have DSL!

DSL has been hailed as a great solution for residential and some small business broadband needs. You may have heard this term from friends and neighbors when talking about their fast internet connection. It's true, DSL is much faster then a dial-up internet connection, but is it all it's cracked up to be?

With speeds of up to 140 times faster than dial up internet access it s definitely fast but the problem is you don't always get the advertised speed. Your DSL connection is highly dependant on your distance from the phone company. If you're over 5,000 feet your signal will begin to drop off and your connection will be degraded, i.e. slower speed. At about 15,000 feet from the phone company (3 miles) your signal will completely cut off.

The second problem with DSL is the fact that it's highly over subscribed. Oversubscription means that many people are pulling from the same resource. During the afternoon when people are at work there may be plenty of bandwidth to have, but in the evening when everyone is looking up the news, going through e-mail, or shopping online, access tends to be strained. Many people pulling from the same limited resource will find that there's only so much to go around. What does this mean to you? Slow speeds! It's interesting to note that DSL companies lampooned cable internet access as being shared by the neighborhood. Commercials displayed neighbors at each others throats for overusing the connection because it affected other's use. The irony of the commercials is that DSL users suffer from the same problem of common access. It's a great solution, but don't let them fool you….It's not perfect!

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