What is ADSL?

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Please note, as of November 2020, we are no longer selling ADSL plans

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What does ADSL stand for?

ADSL = Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. It's a line that transmits data – but aysmmetrically, or unequally. The download lane needs more capacity than the upload lane.

So, what is ADSL?

ADSL is a type of internet connection. It transmits data through existing copper phone lines and it’s the most basic form of broadband.

There are three versions – ADSL (ADSL1), ADSL2 and ADSL2+. Each one provides a faster and better internet connection than the last. If ADSL is available where you live, there will only be one version to choose from.

You can use ADSL at the same time as your home phone line.

Thinking about fibre broadband or nbnTM? Find out what you need to know.

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How fast is ADSL?

ADSL2+ has download speeds of up to 24 Mbps but the average speed is 8 Mbps. The speed depends on the distance information needs to travel from the local telephone exchange to your home. If you’re more than 1 km from the exchange, you’ll notice a significant dip in speeds.

ADSL1 is slower than ADSL2+.

Is there anything else I need to know about ADSL?

  • Cost: ADSL may be the oldest and most basic type of broadband, but that doesn’t mean it’s the cheapest. 
  • Naked DSL: This is a broadband connection without a home phone line. (You get a home phone line rental with an ADSL broadband connection.) You can still make calls but it’s done over the internet where your voice travels as data. 
  • OnNet and OffNet: Offnet ADSL and ADSL2+ broadband plans are channelled through a different network to the internet provider they’re bought through. This enables internet providers to offer more plans at a lower cost to more people.
  • ADSL Exchange: Want to know how far you are from your ADSL exchange? Use the ADSL lookup.
  • History: ADSL was developed in the 1990s and launched in Australia in 1999.

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