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DSL and telephone terminology

Below is a list of DSL and telephone-related terminologies.


ISDN – Integrated Services Digital Network


Gives a user up to 56 kbps of data bandwidth on a phone line that is also used for voice, or up to 128 kbps if the line is only used for data.


POP – Point of Presence


A node of an ISP containing a DSU-CSU, terminal server and router and sometimes one or more hosts, but no network information center or network operations center.


POTS – Plain Old Telephone Service


Basic voice service available in residences throughout Australia.


TELCO – Telephone Company


Generic name for telephone companies throughout the world.




A pair of wires, moderately twisted for the entire length between the telephone company’s end office and the user premises (the common telephone set) form a loop, so it is referred to as the local loop. This loop provides a user with access to the global telecommunications infrastructure that is installed all over the world. The local loop has been historically designed to provide voice grade audio service. The circuit is powered from the central office with 48V (open circuit voltage) limited in current to a value somewhat higher than 20mA. This current is used for signaling phone access, burning off moisture, breaking through metallic oxides caused by corrosion, and powering a carbon microphone. The original telephone equipment contained no active electronics. The actual wiring of the local loop may be considered to be a lossy transmission line. DSL uses whatever frequencies will propagate on this line for purposes of digital data transmission. T1 modulation (alternate mark inversion) has been doing this for years. DSL extends the capability by using modern technology to increase the data rates and distances spanned.


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