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Different digital subscriber lines transmitting on loops in the same telephone cable generate crosstalk into each other. Two different DSLs are spectrally compatible if they can both use the same cable with low probability of significant degradation from crosstalk. Spectrum management is the process of ensuring spectral compatibility while optimizing the loop plant. Spectrum management requires knowledge of cable plant characteristics extending into higher frequency spectra (∼1 MHz), the different DSL types, and how to compute the impact of crosstalk. Also, definitions of the level of crosstalk from one DSL type that significantly degrades another DSL type is needed, which can only reach broad acceptance through industry-wide agreements. In the United States, DSL Access Standards Committee T1E1.4 has created a technical definition of spectral compatibility, the Spectrum Management Standard T1.417-2001. The details of DSL spectral compatibility and compliance with the standard are presented, as well as a history of the standard and some possibilities for the future.
Date of Publication: Nov 2002