Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) is an Internet technology that uses existing phone lines in unison with new hardware to enable broadband Internet access. While DSL uses phone lines, it doesn't tie them up like traditional dial-up Internet.
Average DSL Speeds
The average basic DSL speed in 2010 is between 768 kilobytes per second (Kbps) and 1.5 megabytes per second (Mbps). For high-end service, which costs more but offers a faster connection, the average is around 3 Mbps to 7 Mbps.
Despite the average speeds for both basic and advanced DSL, yours will likely vary based on your Internet and PC configuration. If you use wireless Internet and are somewhat distanced from the router, expect slower speeds. Similarly, if the network adapter inside your PC is fairly old, you may not be getting all the speed you could. Also, as technology advances, these DSL speed will continue to increase.
DSL vs. Cable
At 4 to 6 Mbps, cable Internet's average speed is around the same as the high-end DSL speed, according to the High Speed Internet Access Guide. A high-end cable connection has an average speed of 12 to 20 Mbps. While cable Internet is typically faster, it's also usually more expensive and the bandwidth is shared with other subscribers in your area, meaning you won't necessarily see a large speed boost over DSL.