July 1998

xDSL Deployment

Copper Applications in Electronic & Communications

By Bill Black

Widespread commercial deployments of xDSL, primarily the asymmetric version known as ADSL, are gaining momentum rapidly. North American service providers are taking the lead in rolling out broadband ADSL services to business and residential customers in major metropolitan markets, to provide high-speed remote access to the Internet and corporate networks. Carriers in the Asia/Pacific region and Europe also are beginning to roll out ADSL commercial services, with an additional emphasis on enabling a host of exciting new interactive multimedia applications.

As with most successfully evolving technologies, it has become difficult to keep up with these developments. The ADSL Forum maintains a table, updated every couple of weeks, of worldwide trials and service deployments of ADSL systems. This table will shortly be split into two, one on trials, one on commercial deployments. This is undoubtedly the best available source of information on worldwide implementation of xDSL systems. The specific web address at present is:

The reader might also wish to browse through the other excellent materials in the Forum's web site, which can be reached at its home page:

It should be noted that The ADSL Forum covers some, but not all, of the other technologies that come under the heading of xDSL. The main technology omitted is HDSL, or high-bit-rate digital subscriber line, which requires two copper twisted-pair wires and was developed primarily as an alternative to T-1 lines in commercial applications. It has been successfully deployed since the early 1990s and uses the same basic digital subscriber line principles as the other systems.

Another, commercial, web site of interest is maintained by TeleChoice, Inc., which tends to keep quite up-to-date on xDSL technology, including deployment announcements. It can be reached at:

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