DSLAM

Stands for "Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer."

A DSLAM is a networking device used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to route their subscribers' DSL connections to the Internet. It combines, or "multiplexes," separate connections from multiple subscribers into one aggregate connection.

DSL modems in a single neighborhood (or other local loop) communicate over individual telephone lines to the local DSLAM. The DSLAM merges their traffic and routes it over a higher-bandwidth Internet backbone connection. It also prioritizes traffic and limits the bandwidth to certain DSL connections when necessary.

DSLAMs are usually located in an ISP's telephone exchange office, although ISPs may also install them on-premises where there are a large number of DSL connections — for example, an office complex, hotel, or apartment building. Each DSLAM can handle a certain number of subscribers, so ISPs use multiple DSLAMs deployed and configured to route traffic as efficiently as possible.

Updated December 28, 2022 by Brian P.

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