A number of different broadband technologies (such as fixed line, wireless, mobile) have been developed in recent years, the two most prevalent in the UK being ADSL and cable modem services. Both deliver high-speed data connectivity typically used by business and homes to connect to the internet. In the UK, cable modem services are provided by Virgin Media, while ADSL is delivered over phone lines connected to the local telephone exchanges and is widely available from a range of suppliers. And, there’s a bigger choice of providers. It is this fixed line ADSL technology we will focus on in this White Paper when referring to ‘Broadband’.
ADSL, which stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line, has two main characteristics – it is provided over a phone line and offers more bandwidth to download data than it does to upload it, hence the label ‘asymmetric’. This asymmetry stems from the technology originally being developed for the residential market where users are ostensibly more interested in downloading information than sending it. Over time, it has become widely adopted by businesses as well, owing to a number of inherent advantages.