Telecoms Need Sustainable DSL Speed

In the intensifying race for broadband subscribers, telecoms should focus on sustainable service levels, according to new study by Point Topic.

“A high data rate is of no value for many applications unless it is continuous,” analysts at the London telecom research firm said. “It must not come and go while the user is trying to watch a football game or have a phone conversation.”

To accomplish this, Point Topic said telecoms must bolster the network core rather than adding bandwith on the access line. Hardware and software investments should include platforms to serve on-demand video, audio and multimedia programming to users in a particular area.

“The extra capability will include the equivalent of virtual private circuits to support telephone calls, remote access to the company network for teleworkers, or real-time video,” the report said.

The study comes at a time when several U.S. DSL providers – including Verizon, Qwest and SBC — are working to expand their DSL coverage and enhance networks.

Point Topic’s conclusion may raise eyebrows because of the emphasis in developing faster DSL technology. ADSL services, the norm in most countries today, generally deliver up to 2 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream (towards the end user) although they can be configured to deliver 6Mbps or even 8Mbps.

Now some newer technologies such as VDSL , ADSLPlus and ADSL2 offer even higher speeds, such as 13, 16 or even 26Mbps.

“The main broadband applications in view today can be satisfied with a bandwidth of about 2 Mbps or less,” Point Topic said.

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