DSL or ADSL – Which One for Rural Internet Providers?

Rural telephone operators and cable TV  operators have no other choice to survive – offer Internet service. Unfortunately, they are still at the mercy of giant telecom operators who control ALL parts of the Internet connection:

  • the IGF (international gateway facilities)
  • Backbone
  • Local networks (mostly in profitable metropolitan areas).  

Giant telcos have huge bandwidth capacities –  in terabit levels and they’re charging around P55,000/month for a mere 2-MB(megabit) DSL link to rural operators! In contrast, a 2-MB ADSL are offered to household subscribers in metropolitan areas for only less than P6,000 per month!  Unfortunately rural providers make the mistake of getting a 2-mb DSL link instead of a cheaper ADSL link!!! Technically, a cheap 2-mb ADSL link is sufficient for small rural Internet provider.   Here’s the explanation.

What’s the difference between a DSL and an ADSL line? ADSL stands for Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line.  The asymmetry lies in the difference of bandwidth (or speed) between the downlink (operator-to-subscriber) and the uplink (subscriber-to-operator). DSL is actually abbreviated SDSL which stands for Symmetrical DSL (i.e. equal speed in both direction).  

Rural Internet providers should know this vital information :


An example would explain this.  When a user types http://www.yahoo.com, how much data is sent to Yahoo? Just a few bytes. Now look what is the response from Yahoo – lots of text, pictures, applets, etc. all over the page. Hundreds or even thousands of bytes isn’t it? Therefore, a cheap ADSL link from telco to rural Internet provider is enough! For redundancy, it’s help to get other links for other providers, too.

Who needs DSL lines?  Corporate or business users. They need it to do:

  • File transfers
  • Email
  • Telephony
  • Video and video surveillance
  • Networking of computers and servers

DSL lines are expensive. The rough monthly figures I know are:

  • 2MB – P15,000
  • 4MB – P55,000
  • 10MB – P250,000

So … rural operators don’t be fooled of subscribing DSL links without knowing your requirements.


About hellocamiguin

Pioneer of the Camiguin Telephone Network
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