Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) is a commonly used term these days. Almost every single home in the urban US had a telephone line. It was almost a given. There is an almost seamless transition from Dial-Up internet for those users who use an ISP (Internet Service Provider), like America Online (AOL) or Netzero experience to DSL which guarantees much higher speeds.
It is heartening to see the technology grow through these years. Just over 5 years ago, DSL modems were already in vogue and operators like SBCand Qwest had already deployed DSL service to individual consumers across the states.
DSL uses the non-voice frequencies of the telephone line to transmit data. So, natural voice conversations are not affected by DSL, unlike the annoying Dial-Up, where if your grandma picked up the phone while you were connected to the internet, she would be greeted by the deafening tones over a hoarse telephone line, or with a roar from you, because your internet line got disconnected!
But there was a silent giant lurking out there, riding over one of the other most popular components of every home, with great degree of transparency for home users. This was Cable TV. People receiving Cable TV programs over their televisions, could now plug in a splitter, much like they would, to share the cable connection between two TVs or illegally between neighbors. Instead of having another TV on an end of the splitter, they would plug in a black box, called the Cable Modem.
Cable Modem had a strangle hold over the US Markets back then and to an extent even now! Somehow, it just seemed to be a natural synergy between the cable TV and the internet. Of course, every home had a Cable TV connection. Though, the telephone is even more popular than Cable TV in homes, Cable has dominated the US Markets. For a premium, if you could obtain high speed internet connection, that would be the path of least resistance for most consumers. The only requirement would be a spot close to your TV to put the modem, so that those thick black wires do not have to travel through the home like rattlesnakes.
Now that we have set the stage, we will review DSL Technology in the next section.