DSL rivals trade technology insults

Proponents of two rival local variants of digital subscriber line (DSL) service have been hurling insults at each other's technology. While Telecom is gearing up for the commercial launch of an ADSL service in the middle of the year, Lloyd Group has connected its first customer to the Internet using MVL, a DSL variant invented by US company Paradyne for which it is the distributor.

Proponents of two rival local variants of digital subscriber line (DSL) service have been hurling insults at each other's technology.

While Telecom is gearing up for the commercial launch of an ADSL service in the middle of the year, Lloyd Group has connected its first customer to the Internet using MVL, a DSL variant invented by US company Paradyne for which it is the distributor. Both technologies use DSL access multiplexers (DSLAMs) connected to the telco network, and a modem.

Telecom's Graeme Rowe describes MVL, which stands for multiple virtual lines, as "an orphan technology" without standards support. "It was an early attempt at ADSL but standards are definitely pulling things in another direction."

Gallagher says MVL has just gained endorsement from the US watchdog FCC, which found that it does not cause interference on the phone network. Gallagher says no other DSL technology has been given such clearance.

In an interview with Network World magazine (May-June issue), Gallagher claims that ADSL causes interference on all but good quality copper, whereas MVL is stable even on the lowest grade of wiring. "Because of the type of copper in the ground, if you use ADSL in this country cross-talk is going to knock half of ISDN installations all to hell."

Not so, says Telecom's Rowe. "I live a fair way from [Auckland's] Mt Albert exchange and ADSL works fine to my place.

"ADSL has been designed to work over a significant percentage of the copper networks in the world and it's achieved a high degree of penetration."

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