Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line, one of several broad- band technologies designed to increase the bandwidth avail- able over standard copper telephone wires (see also dsl). adsl’s design is based on the assumption that most homes and businesses consume more data than they generate.
Accordingly, such a connection may theoretically provide an incoming (or downstream) data speed of up to 8mbps and an outgoing (or upstream) speed of less than 1mbps, although in practice isps are likely to provide much slower connections than this (typically 512kbps) to keep costs down.
The actual data transmission speeds possible depend on the quality and integrity of the copper connection and associated equipment, as well as the distance of the user from the exchange. adsl is suitable for one-way applications such as web browsing, video on demand and software distribution, but much less so for those with two-way needs such as video- conferencing.
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