A standard telephone installation in the United States is made up of a copper wires pair that is installed in the house of the subscriber by the telephone company. This copper wire pair has a large amount of room for carrying more than an ordinary telephone conversation. That is, they have able to support a much greater bandwidth than required by the voice conversation.
The DSL technology makes use of this extra capacity to transmit information without interfering with the capability of line to carry voice conversation. The entire plan of DSL is based on matching frequencies to particular tasks (Franklin).
The ordinary telephone line, or Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS), has certain limitation to it. In fact, the way it makes the most of a telephone service provider’s wires and other equipment is by limiting the number of frequencies that each of the switch, telephone equipment and other devices present within the exchange will carry. The human voice can be carried to large distances sufficiently in a frequency band that range from 0 to 3.4 KHz. This band of frequency is very small while the wires that carry them have the potential to carry frequencies up to Megahertz in majority of the cases. The use of a very small part of the total carrying capacity of the wires is historical. That is the telephone system has been in use for over a century and all this time it has successfully met the demand of voice traffic, hence there was no need felt to use a wider bandwidth for this purpose. Furthermore the use of narrow frequencies allow the telephone service provider to pack together large number of wires in a very small space with worry much about the interference. The rest of the available capacity can be used safely by today’s digital technologies and DSL works on this principle (Golden, Dedieu and Jackobsen).
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