The use of fast Internet connections has grown rapidly over the last few years. As more people buy home computers and create home networks, the demand for broadband (high-speed) connections steadily increases. Two technologies, cable modems and Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL), currently dominate the industry.

While both of these technologies provide Internet connections that are many times faster than a 56K modem, they still are not fast enough to support the integration of home services such as digital television and Video-on-Demand.

However, another DSL technology known as very high bit-rate DSL (VDSL) is seen by many as the next step in providing a complete home-communications/entertainment package. There are already some companies, such as U.S. West (part of Qwest now), that offer VDSL service in selected areas. VDSL provides an incredible amount of bandwidth, with speeds up to about 52 megabits per second (Mbps). Compare that with a maximum speed of 8 to 10 Mbps for ADSL or cable modem and it's clear that the move from current broadband technology to VDSL could be as significant as the migration from a 56K modem to broadband. As VDSL becomes more common, you can expect that integrated packages will be cheaper than the total amount for current separate services.

In this article, you'll learn about VDSL technology, why it's important and how it compares to other DSL technologies. But first, let's take a look at the basics of DSL.