Zyxel DSLAMDSLAM stands for Digital Subscriber Line Access Module and is a device that is usually found in a telephone exchange where they are deployed by internet service providers to inject a broadband signal onto a standard telephone line. This is the most common method of broadband provision in the UK

However, there are situations where a DSLAM can be used effectively by other types of business as a cost-effective alternative to installing new Cat 5 ethernet cabling.

A typical example would be an apartment (or serviced office) where there is a need to provide internet access to each apartment and where there is currently a phone system providing telephone service to each apartment.

The obvious solution would be to install Cat 5 ethernet cabling to each apartment and connect this back to a router via a data network switch situated at some central location.

Wireless may also be a possible solution, but this can be complex to manage with issues of security and unauthorised access to consider. Even with a wireless solution it is necessary to install Cat 5 ethernet cabling to each wireless access point.

A solution based on a DSLAM can be very cost-effective since it would use the existing telephone cabling to provide the broadband connection and would therefore remove the need to install Cat 5 Ethernet cabling. In other words the costs associated with installation labour and business disruption are replaced by equipment costs.

The DSLAM would typically be co-located with the phone system and would be connected to the telephone extension cabling. The DSLAM would also be connected to the broadband router that is used to provide internet service.

In each apartment it would be necessary to install a filter (ie a standard broadband filter). One output of the filter would be connected to the apartment’s telephone instrument. The other output would be connected to a standard broadband ADSL router which could have wireless capabilities.

In an apartment (or serviced office) the DSLAM would be configured so that each connection is isolated from every other connection. However, DSLAMs can also be configured so that a network is created between each connection.

This means that a DSLAM could be considered as an alternative to re-cabling an office. This may be useful in (say) a listed building where telephone cabling has been installed many years ago and the cost of instaling Cat 5 ethernet cable is prohibitive.

When considering deploying a DSLAM it is important to note that the connection speeds that can be supported by DSLAMs are significantly lower than can be achieved over Cat 5 ethernet cabling. However, this is not an issue if only internet access is required and it should be noted that some DSLAMs can support speeds in excess of 50Mb/s using VDSL technology.

Get in touch with us if you have a specific requirement or if you wish to discuss how your business could make better and more cost-effective use of its existing telecommunications and internet infrastructure and services.

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