Broadband digital communications connection that operates over standard copper telephone wires. It requires a DSL modem, which splits transmissions into two frequency bands: the lower frequencies for voice (ordinary telephone calls) and the upper band for digital data, especially for connection to the Internet. Data can be transferred via DSL at much higher rates than with ordinary dial-up modem service; the range of DSL signals, however, is very small. Connections can be made only within a few miles of the nearest transmitting station. DSL and xDSL are umbrella terms under which a variety of protocols and technologies fall. ADSL (Asymmetric DSL) is a popular type of DSL in which most of the bandwidth of the connection is devoted to downloading data from the network to the user, leaving only a small-scale connection for uploading data. In HDSL (High bit-rate DSL) and SDSL (Symmetric DSL) the data stream is symmetric; that is, the upstream and downstream rates are the same. UDSL (Unidirectional DSL), VDSL (Very high data rate DSL), and others still under development are intended to offer even greater rates of data transmission.