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What is ADSL?
ADSL stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. It is always-on, high-speed data communications technology that is delivered using existing telephone lines. DSL refers to the technology used between a customer's premises and the telephone company, enabling more bandwidth over telephone lines than dial-up modems or ISDN. It allows you be connected to the Internet and make and receive calls on the same line at the same time.

How does DSL work?
DSL runs over regular phone lines. DSL utilizes more of the bandwidth capacity on copper phone lines than is currently used for regular telephone service. By utilizing higher data frequencies, DSL can dramatically achieve faster data rates. In order to transform a telephone line into a high-speed data line, DSL equipment must be installed on both ends of the line - at the customer premises (an ADSL capable modem) and the local telephone central office.

ADSL - Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line
ADSL supports a range of asymmetric (different download and than upload speeds) data speeds that can reach up to 1.5 mega-bits per second (mbps) downstream and 256 kilo-bits per second (kbps) upstream. ADSL can deliver simultaneous high-speed data and telephone services over the same line

What's the difference between ADSL and Cable Modem services?
There is not much difference between the two technologies from the viewpoint of the end-user. Cable modems use Hybrid-Fibre-Coaxial cables (the same cables that FOXTEL services use) to reach your home or business whilst ADSL modems use your ordinary telephone line. Both offer high speed Internet Services.

Benefits of ADSL
ADSL technology has the following advantages:

  • make and receive telephone calls whilst on-line
  • Have it on 24 hours 7 days a week without any time based charges
  • No need to dial up, plus no local call charges
  • Speed - is 20 to 50 times faster than a conventional 56Kbits/sec modem

Example - download time for a 9MB file:

  • 25 minutes at 56Kbps (PSTN)
  • 10 minutes at 128Kbps (ISDN)
  • 48 seconds at 1.5Mbps (ADSL)

Will all my PSTN telephone features work with ADSL?
Your telephone features will work as normal. However, we will not be able to offer you an ADSL service if you currently use some specific incompatible products. We are working to overcome these limitations. Also there may be minor interruption to your standard service during ADSL activation.

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Do telephone lines need to be updated to support ADSL?
To continually improve service levels, Telecommunication carriers have has an ongoing program to upgrade telephone lines. The vast majority of telephone lines will not require any upgrade work specifically to support an ADSL service. ADSL technology uses a proven robust transmission technique specifically suited to ordinary telephone lines.

What is involved in an ADSL service qualification check?
There are many requirements to be met before an ADSL service can be provided. Not all telephone services belonging to an ADSL covered exchange can necessarily have an ADSL service. A service qualification check will test whether your telephone line will meet the following requirements:

  • Your telephone line belongs to an ADSL enabled exchange
  • Your home or business is within a certain distance from an exchange building
  • Your telephone line is a straight PSTN service without any ADSL incompatible equipment such as PABXs, Commanders, OnRamp services, pair gain systems etc
  • There are no incompatible products associated with your telephone line such as EasyCall® Multiple Number or FaxStream Duet™

Why do I need a network adapter in my computer?
You will need a network adapter if you plan to use a DSL Ethernet modem. An Ethernet modem is recommended if you are planning on sharing the your ADSL connection with two or more computers. DSL modems and routers use Ethernet because it provides the interface capacity to support high-speed Internet connections and allows multiple computers connected to a LAN. Ethernet is the most popular form of local area networking. Setting up an Ethernet based LAN for Microsoft Windows is inexpensive and relatively easy. You can also get Ethernet adapters for notebooks in the form of PCMIA (PC card) card. They're a little more expensive than desktop cards.

How secure is my computer or LAN using an always-on Internet Connection?
Any connection to the Internet carries some risks. At the very least you should have an up to date Anti-Virus program install and make sure it is updated regularly (at least once a week). DSL provides a dedicated Internet connection over private telephone lines. This reduces the risk of your data being accessed by hackers over a shared network. A DSL router can offer additional security. For maximum security you should explore the use of a firewall as well as other hardware and software solutions.

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Does anyone have to visit my home or office to install DSL?
In most cases no. ADSL is typically set up on an already existing phone line. Work is done at the telephone exchange to enable the phone line for ADSL. Once the line is enable and working we send out an ADSL modem, if you have requested one. We can organise for someone to come out to install the modem, however our standard installation fees apply.

Will the self-installation of my new modem be easy?
Yes. Easy to follow instructions are supplied with each modem that is sent out. However if you are having problems we are more than happy to help you with the set up over the phone. If you think you will need help we can organise for someone to come out to install the modem, however our standard installation fees apply.

What is CPE and what does it do?
CPE stands for 'Customer Premises Equipment' (or more commonly known as your ADSL modem), which is the DSL equipment that connects your home or business to the telephone line delivering DSL service. DSL CPE provides two essential functions for your DSL Internet connection. The first is converting the digital data from the computer to a form of digital signaling used for the DSL communications link. The second function of your DSL CPE is handing the IP (Internet Protocol) networking to enable your computer or LAN to connect to the Internet via your ISP. DSL CPE comes in two flavors: bridges (a DSL modem) and routers.

How does DSL CPE connect to my computer?
DSL CPE connects to the DSL service at one end and to your computer or LAN at the other. DSL CPE can connect to your computer using one of three following interfaces:

  • Ethernet. Ethernet forms the basis of the most popular form of computer (PCs and Macs) networking. You can connect Ethernet DSL CPE to a single computer or a network. Ethernet is the most commonly used interface for DSL CPE because it can easily support the speeds of DSL (up to 100Mbps) and enables the DSL connection to be shared across a network. Ethernet DSL CPE can be used with PCs and Mac's.
  • USB (Universal Serial Bus). USB supports data speeds of up to 12Mbps between your computer and peripherals. USB also allows you to easily connect comp0uter peripherals, including a DSL modem, to a computer without cracking the case to insert an adapter card. USB ports have been standard on most PCs for the last few years and Microsoft Windows 98, Windows 2000, and the latest Macs support USB. A USB DSL modem is an external device that connects to a USB port on your PC and is typically used for consumer (single computer) DSL offerings.
  • PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect). PCI is a standard adapter card that inserts into a slot inside your PC. Installing a PCI DSL modem isn't as easy as installing an external USB modem. As is the case with USB modems, PCI DSL modems are typically bundled with consumer (single computer) DSL offerings.

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I live in a block of units and the Body Corporate cannot agree on cable access. Will there be a similar problem with ADSL?
No. ADSL uses your existing telephone line so there will be no need to get permission from the Body Corporate to install high speed access to the Internet via ADSL.

Can I take my ADSL service with me if I move premises?
This depends on whether the premises that you are moving into belongs to an ADSL enabled exchange. Relocating your ADSL service can take up to 10 days and a service fee applies. A relocation request needs to be made even if you are transferring your current ADSL number to new premises. Please contact Hotkey before you move to confirm whether you will be able to continue using the ADSL service.

What's static IP addressing?
A static IP address is a number that is assigned to a computer when it is on the Internet. Computers use IP addresses to locate and talk to each other on the Internet, much the same way. Static IP addresses are assigned to a specific computer or other network device on a permanent basis until manually changed, that is the IP address is always the same. Typically a static IP address is needed if you are running a web, mail or file severs.

What's dynamic IP addressing?
Dynamic IP addresses are kept in a pool of available IP addresses and parceled out when users log on to the network. When a user logs off the network, the IP address is returned to the pool of available IP addresses to be used by another user. Because these IP addresses are assigned on an as needed basis, the IP address assigned to a computer or device changes. Many ISP's use dynamic IP addressing for consumer DSL offerings.

I'm a residential DSL customer, what firewall solution can I use that isn't expensive or complicated?
The easiest and least expensive firewall solutions are personal firewall's, which are programs that install on your computer. The two most popular are Norton Internet Security 2003 ( and ZoneAlarm (

I'm a small business with multiple computers connected to my Ethernet DSL modem and I want serious protection for the network. What are my firewall options?
You can choose from two firewall solutions: set up a proxy server on a computer connected to the DSL modem or use a firewall appliance. You can choose from a variety of proxy server programs.

A firewall appliance is an external box that uses stateful packet inspection. It sits between you DSL modem and your LAN. A firewall appliance costs around $500. The two leading firewall appliance products are the SonicWALL SOHO ( and the WatchGuard SOHO (

Hotkey also supplies a firewall solution known as Hotkey Network Patrol and an anti-viral solution to protect your computer.

If you have any further queries regarding ADSL please contact us

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