- What exactly is DSL?
DSL, which stands for Digital Subscriber Line, is a broadband communications technology designed for use on Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) lines. DSL service is capable of transmitting data over copper lines at speeds that are 35 times faster than analog 28.8 Kbps modems.
- How can DSL provide high-speed access when it simply uses the same traditional phone lines that my dial-up account is limited to?
DSL does utilize the copper phone lines or POTS that your phone and analog modem runs on. However, it works on frequencies above the traditional telephone or voice signal, thereby enabling it to utilize more of the otherwise unavailable bandwidth on the line.
- Is DSL a form of dedicated Internet access?
Yes, DSL runs on a closed, dedicated circuit thus allowing end-users to receive a secure, "always on" connection. You will no longer contend with dialing, busy signals or frequent disconnections.
- Will I always maintain the speeds promised to me on my DSL connection?
DSL is usually offered with guaranteed access speeds (or bandwidth) while signals are transmitted within the local network or loop. However, access speeds may be inhibited by a client's own internal network (due to the number of end-users and specific LAN configurations), and also may be inhibited by the multitude of networks and servers that make up the Internet.
- Why can't DSL provide the same speeds everywhere?
DSL is a distance-sensitive technology. In effect, DSL, by utilizing copper phone wire (or POTS), is subject to attenuation (diminishing signal power/energy) due to its existing physical limitations. Thus the digital signal energy inevitably regresses the further across the line it travels resulting in reduced access speed eligibility.
- Why is DSL Internet access better than dial-up Internet access?
DSL, unlike dial-up access, offers high-speed, "always on" Internet access. With DSL, end-users can attain optimal speeds that are at least 35 times faster than conventional 28.8 Kbps dial-up access. Moreover, this high range of available speeds makes DSL a scalable product, whereas dial-up access end-users are capped at 56 Kbps. In addition, DSL is much more suitable for a business environment with multiple end-users in need of simultaneous access (i.e., a network or LAN environment). Also, there are no per-minute usage charges as with dial-up access.
- What makes DSL better than Cable Modem?
Because DSL utilizes standard phone lines there are a number of advantages for an end-user, including speed eligibility, service availability and security. First, DSL offers guaranteed, non-compromised speeds, whereas cable modem end-users receive unpredictable speeds that depend on the amount of end-users and data volume on the shared cable network at a given time. Secondly, DSL runs on copper phone lines which have been around for approximately 100 years and acclaim nearly 100% market availability, whereas co-axial cable is much younger with less of a market presence. And finally, DSL is on a closed circuit making it less susceptible to hackers, whereas cable modem is on a shared network.
- What is the reasoning for different types of DSL?
A selection of DSL flavors are available on the market to ultimately accommodate the wide range of business needs and demands. These different business needs and demands depend on a client's Internet application(s), the number of end-users, the frequency of usage, and the volume of data transfer. In addition, the physical location of the client may dictate the type of DSL that is required.
- What are my options if DSL service is not available in my area?
DSL is already available in many markets throughout the northeast region-and the number is growing every day. Unfortunately, however, it is not available everywhere yet. If you have been told that you are not yet eligible for service remain optimistic, because DSL availability is growing at a tremendously rapid rate, and will likely reach your business shortly. Furthermore, DSL providers will often add your name to a list and be sure to immediately notify you when the service is available.
- Will I need separate IP addresses for all end-users on my LAN connection?
The answer to that will depend on whether or not you have Network Address Translation (NAT) on your router or proxy server. If you do possess NAT, only one static IP address (which you would put on the outside interface of the NAT device) for all potential end-users is needed. If you do not possess NAT, you must have IP addresses for all end-users assigned to them by BDT. (Note: be sure that you know this answer when you are comparing different providers because additional IP addresses can be priced unreasonably high or may not even be available.) BDT is committed to supplying all mission critical servers static IP addresses.
- How much will I have to pay for additional IP addresses from the initial ones offered?
This varies between different DSL providers. BDT will offer additional IP addresses simply on an as-needed basis at no additional cost, while others may charge a customer a one-time fee or a recurring monthly charge for the extra IP addresses. Some providers may not offer any additional IP addresses. You ought to be advised of hidden, high-end costs for extra IP addresses.
- Can I attain/maintain my domain name?
DSL providers often will register or-if you already have one-transfer your company's domain name through the InterNIC. Billing for the service will be handled directly by the InterNIC. BDT will waive its fee for transfer for this promotional period.
- What must I absolutely have in order to get connectivity (hub, router,PC)?
The first thing you will need is an external DSL modem to translate the signal and act as a router between your PC(s) and the local loop or network. Secondly, you will need a Network Identification Card (NIC) for each component of the client's network that has access to the DSL service.
- How will I know that DSL will work with my network?
DSL modems have a standard Ethernet interface thus allowing easy connection to a router or an isolated PC that has TCP/IP (with a Network Interface Card).
- How am I charged? What are the per-monthly fees?
There is typically a one-time install charge and a flat monthly recurring charge depending on chosen access speeds. The monthly recurring charge may have additional expenses depending on whether or not a client has optional, add-on services (extra e-mail accounts, web hosting), yet there will be a flat rate that will not fluctuate according to usage.
- What makes up the install charges?
Standard charges include your DSL line install, the DSL modem and a one-time activation fee according to term of service. There may be additional expenses for hardware and inside wiring from an outside vendor to consider.
- What happens when I want to upgrade my current connection?
BDT will not charge a fee for speed upgrades (e.g., added bandwidth or end-users) mid-stream through a term of service from original connection.
- What factors should be considered when determining Internet access needs?
There are a few main factors to consider :
- The average amount of time that is spent on the Internet by the end-user(s) on a daily basis
- The activities performed on the Internet (research via web browsing, file transfer, e-mail)
- The number of end-users that will need Internet access (single-user or LAN)
- The overall cost differential between existing connection (dial-up, ISDN) and DSL
- Is it necessary to have a firewall and/or proxy server for security?
Regardless of what type of Internet access a client has (Dial-Up, DSL, Cable Modem, T 1), a breach of security on a customer network is always possible, and should always be a concern. DSL, however, is less susceptible than Cable Modem because it is not on a shared network.