If all ADSL providers use the same telephone line, does it matter which provider I choose

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Does it make a difference if I, for example, use BT, Sky or Virgin when using ADSL Broadband? I've got the impression, I am going to use the same broadband (telephone) line anyway, so there shouldn't be any difference at all.

Could you explain me the technical aspect of provider selection and whether my assumption is true?

Best Answer

Your line runs between a pair on the MDF (main distribution frame) at the central office and a box on the street, which then connects to the NID at your home. There are OE and CP blocks on the frame (OE=office equipment or the phone switch, and CP=cable pair, or out to the street) that connect between your pair and the phone equipment. When DSL is installed, the crossconnect is removed from those blocks and looped through a multiplexor called a DSLAM. In the case of multiple providers, their DSLAMs are collocated in the same central office, so the wire path will be mostly the same, the only part that differs will be the route in the office through the DSLAM of the provider you are using.

To actually answer your question, it depends what you are trying to change. For instance, the actual physical line on the street won't change, so if there are issues on the line, there will be no change. The trunk into the different DSLAMs will be different, so if it is a bandwitdth issue, then you will see a change. There might also be differences between the type of equipment and peering contracts that may change the latency/routing that you get.

Here is a poorly drawn diagram: enter image description here

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