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ADSL Abbrev. for asymmetric digital subscriber line. A mechanism by which broadband communication via the Internet can be made available via pre-existing telephone lines, while allowing simultaneous use of the line for normal telephone calls. Data communication via ADSL is asymmetric in that upstream (transmitting) communication is slower than downstream (receiving) communication, typically half as fast. Commonly available downstream data rates in the UK are 512Kbps, 1Mbps, and 2Mbps. Faster rates are available in other countries. ADSL coexists with standard telephone operation on the same line by the use of band separation filters at each telephone socket.

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