I have seen DSL compared to PTSN (public switched phone network).

What are some of the major differences?

Is there anything about this answer to a similar question [https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-ISDN-PSTN-and-DSL] that is particularly right or wrong?

  • 2
    This question is very vague. Please provide more context or details.
    – Ron Trunk
    Dec 1, 2017 at 11:31
  • Did any answer help you? If so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you can provide and accept your own answer.
    – Ron Maupin
    Feb 19, 2018 at 20:42
  • @RonMaupin cheers for the reminder! idky I didn't immediately accept the answer given that I thanked the respondent; slipped my mind Feb 20, 2018 at 0:05

1 Answer 1


You can't compare those two. They are completely different things.

xDSL is a family of point-to-point line protocols which can transport just about any digital data over a few hundred meters to a few kilometers, especially various packet-switched or virtual-circuit network protocols.

PTSN is a generalized term for a circuit-switched, analog/digital hybrid network that can be global. It can be used with (at least) a dozen of different transport mechanisms with hundreds of variations.

  • "You can't compare those two. They are completely different things." --> exactly what I was looking for i.e. I'd seen them compared and, as a newb, didn't know if the comparison was valid. Dec 1, 2017 at 12:18
  • "a dozen of different transport mechanisms" --> what are the most prominent of these? Dec 1, 2017 at 12:20
  • 1
    I'm definitely no expert on that, so off the top of my head: several different analog systems (roughly: manually switched, hook switched, tone switched), numerous, probably proprietary multiplexes (mostly FDM), ISDN, ATM, SDH, SONET, ...
    – Zac67
    Dec 1, 2017 at 14:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.