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TMA: a new alternative to leased lines

A cheaper alternative to expensive leased lines, Symmetric Digital Supply Line (SDSL), attracted considerable attention at the...

A cheaper alternative to expensive leased lines, Symmetric Digital Supply Line (SDSL), attracted considerable attention at the TMA telecoms conference in Brighton.

At the show, Fibernet unveiled its SDSL service, which allows businesses to send and receive data at up to two megabits per second.

With Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL), users can only benefit from such high speeds when they receive data and must make do with much slower speeds when they send it.

Many businesses, however, require fast data transmission as well as reception, which partially explains the continuing strength of the leased-line business.

Fibernet is selling SDSL on a wholesale basis, which means that third-party resellers will set the access price. However, even if costs run to hundreds of pounds a month, it could still be cheaper than a leased line.

The arrival of SDSL had been delayed as BT is locked into hardware deals with Fujitsu and Alcatel, neither of whom uses SDSL equipment.

The standard for SDSL was also delayed and was only recently approved by the International Telecommunications Union.

The Fibernet network, used to deliver SDSL, is not as comprehensive as BT's and the service is only available in London, other major cities, and some smaller conurbations. Easynet also offers an SDSL service for business.

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