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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) service?

DSL is an innovative technology that turns your existing phone line into a multi-channel data-delivery system. One channel transmits voice services exclusively, so you can surf the Web while talking (or faxing) on the same phone line at the same time. The second channel transmits data downstream at high speeds, and a third channel transmits data upstream.

There are so called "modems" at each end of the phone line. One is connected to your computer; one is located at the telephone company's Central Office (CO) connection point. Working together, they provide a dedicated connection that avoids the need to dial up for access like with traditional analog modem Internet access.

DSL modems aren't really modems, are they?

No. People call them DSL "modems" because the term describes the gear in ways people understand today.  "Modem" is short for MODulator/DEModulator. A modem is a communications device that converts one form of a signal to another that is suitable for transmission over communication circuits, typically from digital to analog and then from analog to digital. 

DSL equipment is a network termination device with a micro-router inside. It doesn't make calls the way a traditional modem does, nor can it be used to place calls to a traditional modem. The DSL micro-router is used to connect only to another DSL device. That device carries traffic back to us and, from there, out onto the Internet.

How is DSL different from other Internet connections?

Dial-up (Analog) Modems
Traditional dial-up modems (often called analog modems) are designed to work over regular copper-wire telephone lines and usually operate at speeds ranging from 28.8K to 56K. The major difference between dial-up and DSL modems is that a dial-up modem works over voice frequencies. Using analog technology, it is unable to accommodate the much faster digital frequencies. DSL streamlines data transmission by using the higher, non-voice frequencies.

Cable Modems
An alternative Internet connection is possible through your cable television line, which has been upgraded to carry data in two directions. Unfortunately, you share your Internet connection with your neighborhood using this method, so there is a possibility of slowdowns during peak-use periods.

DSL Modems
DSL technology provides a dedicated service over an existing local connection to our central offices. With this connection, you don't have to share local access with other users.

Is DSL a new technology?

No. Telecommunications companies have used DSL, or Digital Subscriber Line, technology since the early 1990's for T-1 voice and data circuits. This technology is now available to you for cost-effective Internet and Intranet access. Best of all, DSL works over regular telephone lines to bring full-time, high-speed network connections directly to your business or home.

Is DSL secure?

Unlike it is for cable modems, customer traffic is kept separate and isolated to the telephone company's Central Office (CO) connection point. So, traffic from one user's DSL connection is never visible on another customer's DSL network.

Why is distance important with DSL?

Your phone lines normally terminate at a Telco office, usually nearby. This distance, (the length of the line between your location and the Telco office), is a very important factor in whether or not you can get DSL, and what speed you can get. Distance limits for speeds can vary widely from company to company.

Do I need an additional phone line for SBC Yahoo! DSL?

No. With DSL, your existing phone line is "split" to allow voice and data transmission at the same time. No additional line is required.

How fast is DSL?

SBC Yahoo! DSL is offered in several packages with download speeds ranging from 384kbps to 6.0 Mbps. Through an SBC Yahoo! DSL connection you have the ability to download files and surf the Internet at very high speeds. Exact throughput speeds experienced will vary based on several factors, including the distance between your home and our central office, the condition of your line, traffic on the Internet, and the performance of servers hosting web sites you visit. 




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