xDSL will be switched off in 2030: what should customers know

Coax cable modem, isolated on white background

The ILR, the regulatory body in Luxembourg, has recently initiated an awareness campaign aimed at educating the public about the upcoming switch-off of copper network and how they can prepare for it. The switch-off process is scheduled to be completed by 2030. As part of this campaign, the regulator has added a tool on its online portal, myilr.lu, which allows households to check if the switch-off date has already been set for their location.

Additionally, the portal includes a FAQ section that provides valuable information about the replacement of equipment and alternatives to copper-based services. These efforts will help to ensure that the public is well-informed and prepared for the transition to xDSL technology.

xDSL (Digital Subscriber Line) is a family of technologies that provide high-speed digital data transmission over traditional copper telephone lines. xDSL technologies use different modulation techniques to transmit data over the existing telephone infrastructure, allowing users to have fast internet access without requiring a separate cable or fiber optic connection.

The most common types of xDSL technologies include:

  1. ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line): ADSL is the most widely deployed xDSL technology, and it provides faster downstream speeds than upstream speeds, which is why it’s called “asymmetric.” ADSL can reach speeds of up to 24 Mbps downstream and 3.5 Mbps upstream.
  2. VDSL (Very High-Speed Digital Subscriber Line): VDSL is a newer technology that provides faster speeds than ADSL and can reach up to 100 Mbps downstream and 50 Mbps upstream. VDSL is a more symmetrical technology, meaning it provides similar download and upload speeds.
  3. SDSL (Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line): SDSL is a symmetrical xDSL technology that provides the same upstream and downstream speeds of up to 2 Mbps. It’s commonly used for business applications that require high-speed uploads and downloads.

Modern alternatives to xDSL include fiber optic broadband and cable internet. Fiber optic broadband uses fiber optic cables to transmit data and can provide faster speeds than xDSL. Cable internet uses coaxial cables to transmit data and can provide faster speeds than ADSL but slower than fiber optic broadband. Additionally, wireless technologies such as 5G and satellite internet can also provide high-speed internet access in areas where wired connections are not available or practical.