DSL Management Challenges

ASSIA’s products and technologies enable DSL service providers to automate the management and maintenance of their DSL access networks, fundamentally improving performance and return-on-investment of DSL networks.

The chief technical obstacles to the cost-effective delivery of high-speed services are interference and physical faults in the copper plant. Physical faults can arise at any point in the plant, due to technician or subscriber activities, construction activities, and even environmental factors such as wind and rain. Interference is created by a variety of sources: appliances in the home, other services in the access network such as T1 and E1 services, and AM radio signals. In dense deployments of DSL, or in deployments with a mix of DSLAMs deployed in Central Offices and at remote locations (e.g., FTTN), crosstalk among DSL lines in a cable can be a significant impairment.


Unaddressed, these impairments limit DSL speeds and loop lengths, reducing an operator’s competitiveness. They also result in high rates of customer complaints, which often lead to churn, and expensive technician dispatches. ASSIA’s technology and products directly reduce trouble rates in DSL networks and increase the speed, coverage, and quality of DSL services.

ASSIA DSL Products

ASSIA’s products combine standardized DSL technologies with proprietary analysis methods and highly efficient data collection strategies to automatically stabilize the vast majority of unstable lines in a DSL network via software methods and, for the remaining lines, to generate actionable, pinpoint diagnostics that enable service personnel to efficiently address physical impairments in the copper plant.

ASSIA provides solutions for DSL operators and for DSL chipset vendors. The ASSIA DSL Expresse product delivers diagnostics and stabilization of all lines in even the largest DSL networks. The operation of the system is depicted in the figure below. Each line is inspected on a daily basis; unstable lines are stabilized by adjustment of their DSL profiles; and diagnostic reports are produced for all lines in the network. Diagnostic reports are available on a per-line, per-DSLAM, and per-geography basis.


ASSIA’s products for DSL chipset vendors improve the manageability and performance of DSL chipsets. While DSL Expresse can manage equipment containing any standards-compliant DSL chipset, the inclusion of ASSIA Rapide and ASSIA Chorale technologies in DSL chipsets  enables further gains with respect to performance and control. The Rapide product enables chipset vendors in creating DSM Level II products (see below for the definition of DSM), which have the ability to avoid crosstalk interference through shaping of the DSM spectrum. Chorale enables chipset vendors to create DSM Level III (or “vectored”) VDSL products, which actively cancel crosstalk and can provide speeds in excess of 100 Mbps in FTTN DSL deployments.

DSL Management Standards

ASSIA’s products and technologies work with all standards-compliant DSL equipment, delivering consistent management interfaces and strategies in today’s multi-vendor DSL networks.  In addition to the standardized protocols for DSL communications, the ITU-T has also standardized the DSL management parameters that must be available from all DSL equipment; this standard is known as ITU-T G.997.1. Other industry bodies such as the IETF and the Broadband Forum have developed standards for the exchange of management parameters between DSL equipment and management platforms such as ASSIA’s. And the ATIS standards organization has defined a collection of methodologies, known as Dynamic Spectrum Management or DSM, for leveraging these management quantities and protocols to optimize the technical and economic operations of DSL networks. The ASSIA products take full advantage of these standards to extract the maximum performance from DSL networks.

Technology Advantages from ASSIA

ASSIA maintains its industry leadership through continued technical innovation and growth of its world-class expertise in DSL, which includes the original developers of DSL technology.

Today, ASSIA’s intellectual property portfolio comprises hundreds of patents and patent applications filed worldwide, covering fundamental inventions for DSM, DSL system architectures, and other key technologies related to DSL. In addition, ASSIA is the exclusive licensee for key DSM patents and technology owned by AT&T and Stanford University.