Broadband gets a further Boost

For millions of broadband subscribers, ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) is the underlying technology that pumps in their high-speed connections to the Internet. ADSL uses existing copper phone lines and lets you surf the Web while simultaneously making phone calls. But ADSL is old and limited. Because signals are attenuated over distance, the farther your home is from the phone company's central office, the slower your connection.

ADSL2 is an upcoming, promising new standard that could deliver a faster connection times with better data rates and power management and improved diagnostics and testing modes. At 5,000 feet (close to a mile), the maximum downstream rate for ADSL is 8 Mbps. At the same distance, ADSL2 is designed to achieve 12 Mbps.

ADSL2+, also under development, will increase the 5,000-foot downstream rate to 20 Mbps. "ADSL2 deployments are expected to occur in the second half of 2004," says Brian Feng, ZyXEL's vice president of broadband solution engineering. He adds that ADSL2 is backward- compatible with legacy ADSL hardware. Chipset and equipment manufacturers have already participated in several "plugfests" at the University of New Hampshire to test interoperability. More plugfests are planned for the coming months.

News source: Yahoo!

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