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ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) is a relatively new technology for transmitting digital information at high speeds, using existing phone lines (POTS) to homes and business users alike. Unlike the standard dialup phone service, ADSL provides a permanent connection, at no additional cost.

ADSL was specifically designed to exploit the one-way nature of most multimedia communication in which large amounts of information flow toward the user and only a small amount of interactive control information is returned. Several experiments with ADSL to real users began in 1996. In 1998, wide-scale installations began in several parts of the U.S. In 2000 and beyond, ADSL and other forms of DSL are expected to become generally available in urban areas. With ADSL (and other forms of DSL), telephone companies are competing with cable companies and their cable modem services.

N.B. The Information Security implications of connecting full time to the Internet should not be underestimated. Anyone connecting their system full time to the Internet, needs a firewall, which does not have to cost $hundreds.

*** The Information Security Glossary ***
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