Vendors Stretch DSL's Reach

Copper Mountain has teamed up with GoDigital Telecommunications to extend the reach of a digital subscriber line service from about 36,000 feet to 100,000 feet.

The companies' technology makes phone company trunking more efficient so customers can be farther from a carrier switching office and still get high-speed DSL access services.

The technology also enables bonding of up to three DSL lines to give customers higher bandwidth at the increased range.

While the technology is impressive, there is a drawback. It works only with ISDN-based DSL (IDSL), which has a maximum speed of 144K bit/sec per line. Other flavors of DSL are faster.

But IDSL is still popular because it is the DSL flavor that can be delivered to the most distant customers. Most other flavors have a maximum reach of 18,000 feet, and even then services are delivered at less than maximum speed.

With the Copper Mountain/GoDigital architecture, a Copper Mountain CopperEdge 200 DSL multiplexer sits in the carrier central office.

A GoDigital GDS Universal Central Office Shelf multiplexes three IDSL lines onto a single pair of copper wires reaching out toward the customer. GoDigital repeaters every 20,000 feet or so extend the three channels out to about 83,000 feet. Distances vary depending on the gauge of the wires and their condition.

The last 18,000 feet is a standard IDSL link between a GoDigital GDSL shelf and a Copper Mountain IDSL modem at the customer site.

All three IDSL circuits on the line can be delivered to one customer as a single 432K bit/sec connection, or individual lines can be dropped off at three customer sites.

In addition, one of the three IDSL channels can be replaced by a regular analog phone channel, so the customer could buy a 144K bit/sec IDSL service on the same line with regular phone service.

Previously, IDSL could deliver the 144K bit/sec data stream, but no voice.

Availability of the services depends on carriers adopting it.

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