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What is ADSL?




ADSL (or Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) is simply an very fast  Internet land line service from Telkom. It can be added to your existing land line and phone number.  It is a fast growing product  which provides a fast and permanent 24/7 internet connection without the need to dialup. It is currently the Internet connection of choice (especially for small businesses and homes) and provides the best and most stable internet quality which is far superior to any of the wireless internet technologies like 3G.  In 95% of cases it will cost less than dialup internet when adding all the costs. Many people are converting to the ADSL line daily as it allows greater easy, fast web browsing and less frustration for using multimedia, rich media content like movies and music.  ADSL is asymmetric which means that the speed of download is different to the speed of upload.  ADSL works by splitting your current phone line into two separate channels. One of these channels is used for voice and the other for Internet (data) usage. Also see Telkom ADSL

So what does all this mean?

Well, here is a summary of the benefits of ADSL and why you should perhaps consider moving away from a standard dial-up connection -

  • ADSL is connected 24/7. It is therefore not necessary to pay dial-up fees each time you connect to the internet.
  • The speed of ADSL is much greater than a regular dial-up connection. It allows more data to be sent over the existing copper telephone lines.
  • ADSL is more stable than any other internet connection and should be used as the best option for location bound users.
  • You don’t need to miss important telephone calls while you are connected to the internet. With ADSL you are able to receive calls while being on the internet at the same time.
  • ADSL is not charged by the minute like dial-up modem connections. A fixed charge is added to your phone bill every month. The charge depends on the ADSL package you buy.
  • You can access new technologies like VoIP. It offers perfect voice quality and service like the ADSL phone can be added. Now you can use virtual ADSL phone lines over the internet and reduce call costs.

Not convinced? Have a look at the chart and see for yourself the differences in download speed between a standard 56k modem and an ADSL modem – 256/64:

File Size Modem 56k ADSL – 256/64
500k 1min, 40sec 16sec
10Mb 28Min 5min, 30sec

This is a basic diagram of how ADSL works:

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What are the disadvantages of ADSL?

  • An ADSL connection works better when you are closer to the provider's central office. The closer you are to the exchange the faster your connection will be.
  • The connection is faster for receiving data than it is for sending data over the Internet.
  • The service is not available everywhere

So where can I sign up?

South Africa fortunately has a large number of companies offering ADSL. Each company offers different packages depending on your particular needs. Generally, all ADSL solutions come with a cap limit. A cap could either be 3Gig, 4Gig, 5Gig or uncapped. The ISP will monitor the amount of traffic you produce in your use of the internet. Your ADSL usage is determined by all traffic generated and includes the upload (sending of information), download (receiving of information) as well as network and protocol overheads. Once your traffic “spent” reaches your cap limit, your connection will be lost or extremely slow. Generally speaking a 3GIG cap can be used for home use, a 5GIG cap for a small business and uncapped for a large business. Some home users however might need an uncapped solution. It all depends on your specific needs.

Here are some ISP’s that offer ADSL:

Telkom offers a ADSL line called Do Broadband. This Telkom service combines both the Internet service (data bundle)  as well as the ADSL line into one ADSL package.   What makes the TELKOM ADSL one of the best choices is because it is already incorporated into your phone account. When ever you order a ADSL you also have to obtain a TELKOM ADSL line, doesn't matter who your ADSL internet service provider is. By getting the Telkom ADSL you will have less account and support hassles as you account and support is from one company only.  Telkom ADSL also offers free local data once you data cap is finished.  What this means is that Telkom allows you to view local websites even after you ADSL cap is finished. Now you can use your ADSL phone with unlimited calls as all data over the Vox ADSL phone network is local data.  Have a look at the different solutions they offer and decide which is best for you.


What else can I do with my ADSL line:

With the introduction of the ADSL line small businesses now have the opportunity to also use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions as well as more rich media content like movies, music and online animations. The ADSL phone allows your business to make and receive high quality telephone calls over the Internet.The benefit of this is reduced costs of all national, international and cellular calls. Until recently VoIP was only available to larger corporates and call centres that could invest in expensive Telkom Diginet infrastructure. Using the ADSL phone we are able to offer this service to SME and homes.    View more benefits of ADSL here.


Extra ADSL features I can use :

  1. Telkom ADSL speed test

  2. See if you can get a Telkom ADSL line in your area.

  3. See how much data you have used on your Telkom line with the Telkom ADSL usage tracker


How much will DSL cost?

Click here to see what Telkom ADSL prices are:  Telkom ADSL costs or click here to apply only for Telkom ADSL

Other technologies

There are a number of different DSL technologies. ADSL is probably at the moment the more popular one, due to its price and so on. Some other key DSL technologies are SDSL(symmetric), VDSL(very high bit rate DSL), ADSL 2+ and more recently ADSL 2++. VDSL and ADSL 2+ offer enough bandwidth to allow video services.


With the internet being the gateway for the ever increasing demand for information and communication, speed and reliability is what is needed. ADSL has been the best response for these demands. The regular dial-up connection is hardly sufficient anymore. With our lifestyles becoming ever increasingly busy, time is gold dust, and time wasted while trying to dial a connection or download a file that eventually times out because of slow bandwidth, is just not on. We believe that ADSL is an excellent solution, especially for small to medium businesses, of if you are an internet surfer that's constantly on the net.

   < Back to Tour Start                                        Also see what is ADSL from Wikipedia

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