asymmetric digital subscriber line

variants: or less commonly asymmetrical digital subscriber line

Definition of asymmetric digital subscriber line

: a digital subscriber line in which information is transferred faster in one direction than the other That is because Mr. Scaglia faces formidable competition from Telecom Italia, which is focusing on a less effective but also much less expensive broadband alternative known as ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line), which uses the telephone company's existing copper wires.— Eric Sylvers abbreviation ADSL

First Known Use of asymmetric digital subscriber line

1991, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about asymmetric digital subscriber line

Statistics for asymmetric digital subscriber line

Last Updated

23 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for asymmetric digital subscriber line

The first known use of asymmetric digital subscriber line was in 1991

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for asymmetric digital subscriber line

asymmetric digital subscriber line


Financial Definition of asymmetric digital subscriber line

What It Is

An asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) is a modem technology that enables information and video to be transmitted over regular telephone lines.

How It Works

Though the mechanics of Internet access is highly technical, intuitively, the concept of ADSL is relatively simple: the use of regular copper wire phone lines to transmit data as well as voice.

For years, this idea of sending information over phone lines meant customers had to use what can now be called "old-fashioned" Internet providers -- those that provided "dial-up" access whereby the user manually connected a modem to the Internet provider. However, with the advent of ADSL, customers now have Internet access that is "always on." That is, it can simultaneously transmit voice and digital information on the same line.

Why It Matters

Though ADSL enables customers to perform many of their Internet-related tasks easily, the nature of ADSL does slow down video and other transmissions that require a significant amount of bandwidth.

ADSL is "asymmetric" because it transmits data along phone lines unevenly -- that is, it allocates more bandwidth to the transmission of the customer's data than it does to the receipt of data because of the limited capacity and length of the phone line. The discrepancy is often acceptable to customers who download far more information than they upload.

Source: Investing Answers

Comments on asymmetric digital subscriber line

What made you want to look up asymmetric digital subscriber line? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!