Here's some basic guidelines provided by the telephone company for installing DSL at your home or business:
Requirements for your PC/Mac and DSL
- Central Office Availability. For you to use DSL, it must be available from your telephone company central office (CO) or a neighboring facility Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier or Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (these are sometimes called ILECs or CLECs).
- DSL Availability. DSL cannot travel more than a distance of approximately three miles. If your office is more than three miles away from your telephone company's central office, we may not be able to provide DSL to you.
- New Wiring. In most cases, DSL can travel over the traditional copper wires already installed at your home or business. In some cases, DSL may require a different jack and, occasionally, new wiring. The telephone company can complete the wiring for you, you can do it yourself, or you can hire an independent contractor.
- Splitter. Depending upon the type of DSL you want, or the type of DSL available in your area, a splitter may be required to be installed.
- DSL Modem (DSL LAN) and an Ethernet Card. A DSL Modem and an ethernet card are required for DSL installation. The modem will be provided by your service provider. If your computer does not already have an Ethernet card, the service provider will install one externally.
- Compatible Long Distance Carriers and ISPs. If you want to make long distance voice and Data calls using DSL, you must choose a Long Distance Carrier with lines capable of transmitting data at DSL's top speed of 8Mbps. If you want to use DSL to download data (downstreaming) or transmit data over the Internet (upstreaming), your Online or Internet Service Provider must have a DSL interface capable of taking full advantage of DSL's capacity. This may mean extra charges for you, so contact your provider.
- Back-up Power Supply.Unlike your analog telephone line, your DSL line does not draw its current from your telephone carrier central office and needs a separate power supply should your power go out. An Uninterruptable Power Supply (like the ones used with your PC's) can be used to maintain DSL communications during a power failure. DSL uses regular (120v) current.
In order for you to take full advantage of DSL's many features, your home or business's technology must be current enough so that it is compatible with the DSL equipment on the market. Make sure that your equipment is compliant with the requirements in the following paragraphs.
A prerequisite for installation is that your computer must have a Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) slot for installing a PCI. PCI adaptor cards may also be necessary. Your local telephone company may need to install these cards that insert into the PCI slot. These cards combine the Ethernet interface to your PC with DSL modem functions.
For single-user home based customers, a Universal Serial Bus (USB) modem is generally required. Most new PCs are equipped with USB ports that support the USB modems. For businesses with multiple users, a hub with Ethernet cabling, or a router, is generally required.
Most DSL terminal equipment is optimized to interface with the following:
- 486 PC with Windows 95, 98, or NT Workstation.
- Pentium PC with Windows 95/NT.
- Apple Macintosh Plus with MacOS 7.x.
Each piece of DSL terminal equipment will have its own individual requirements. Call your service provider if you're not sure whether your computer meets the basic requirements for DSL.