ADSL, or Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Loop, is a data connection
not intended for connection to a voice switch. It provides
a computer network link to a user's PC via a NIC, Network
Interface Card. Facilities are usually included to allow a
voice call to be made at the expense of bandwidth.
The primary use for the service will be to provide SOHO and
private users permanent access to the Internet by using their
current copper pair phone line connection with a device similar
to an ISDN Terminal Adapter. This device will also provide
a voice connection so that calls can still be made and received
over the service.
Cable companies are designing and selling an array of communications
and multimedia services including low cost telephone calls
and high-speed data services. These are often provided over
a co-axial link and decoder or cable modem. They are proprietary
and often incompatible with equipment which has not been especially
designed to use the service.