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Revision as of 18:30, 12 February 2010

Here are some tips for wiring your location for DSL

Install at the demarcation point

Instead of putting a DSL line filter on each device attached to your phone line at your location (except your DSL modem, of course), you could put one line filter at your demarcation point for your whole house.

In most homes there is a box or junction just inside where the Bell line enters your location. This is called the 'demarcation point'. All wiring (and problems) inside that point are considered by Bell to be your concern. Usually there is one line going into the demarcation point from outside, and then one wire come out going to from jack to jack throughout your house.

You could install a jack at the demarcation point, then a splitter to create two parallel jacks. On one jack, install a line filter, and connect the house wiring to that line filter. In the other jack, connect the line to the DSL modem.

(it'd be good to have a diagram showing the wiring)

This is optimal for many reasons:

  • Your DSL modem is as close as possible to the demarcation point (and thus likely receives as clean a signal as possible).
  • Only need one line filter.
  • No need to have line filters hanging on all lines to your devices thoroughout the house.
  • You can easily disconnect the house wiring if you need to isolate the DSL modem for troubleshooting.
  • Having the modem hidden out of the way in the basement can be nice. The basement is likely a fine location for ethernet cables to terminate, and as a wireless access point.

But there are shortcomings too:

  • The modem probably ends up in the basement ceiling and thus is not easily accessible. You won't be able to see the lights casually. From a useability viewpoint, it's best to have your DSL modem within sight of your usual location when at the computer, so that you can see what your modem is doing, but it's certainly not essential. If you have a 585 modem, it will less convenient to press the WPS button to add wireless clients.
  • It's a bit of a chore to change the wiring at the demarcation point; you'll need some hardware such as junction box.

There are junction boxes made for this, with built-in DSL line filters (with possibly higher quality filters than usual).