What is ADSL?

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.

cars in tunnel

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+.

All our ADSL plans include an unlimited data allowance.

Is ADSL available to everyone?

ADSL is only an option for homes in areas where nbn™ broadband isn’t yet up and running. Eventually, nbn™ will replace all ADSL connections across Australia.


How do I sign up for ADSL broadband?

We offer ADSL and ADSL2+ broadband bundles for homes and business. Once we know your address, we can let you know which broadband plans are available to you.

What’s the difference between ADSL and other types of broadband?

In Australia, there are three types of broadband – ADSL, fibre (sometimes known as cable) and nbn™.

Type Technology Max download speed Max upload speed Prone to congestion?
Copper wires 24 Mbps 1 Mbps
Fibre Fibre optic cables 100 Mbps 40 Mbps
nbn™ Fibre optic cables 100 Mbps 40 Mbps No

Not all types of broadband are available everywhere – what's available to you is influenced by your address, the age of your property, and what it's constructed from.

Discover what kind of broadband your property can get

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What modem do I need to get connected?

You’ll need an ADSL-compatible modem. You can provide this yourself or we can send you one.

We include a free modem with all 24-month ADSL plans. All you need to pay is $10 for delivery. If you sign up to one of our OffNet plans, there is a charge for the modem.

origin broadband router

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. Origin only offers ADSL broadband plans. There are very few internet providers that offer Naked DSL.
  • 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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