Dedicated Line

What Does Dedicated Line Mean?

In IT, a dedicated line is a particular fiber-optic cable,
twisted-pair cable line, coaxial cable or other physical cable line that is
available at all times for a specific service. The opposite of a dedicated line
is a shared line, where a single line can be temporarily used for more than one
type of data transmission.


Dedicated lines are also known as non-switched lines.

Techopedia Explains Dedicated Line

One of the best examples with issues around dedicated lines
is the traditional use of telephone landlines by companies in the 1990s to
offer dial-up internet service. As the internet started to become more popular,
many households used the same telephone lines for telephone and internet services.
This was an efficient use of services that cut down on household utility bills,
but also presented a lot of problems with dropped calls, dropped internet
connections, line noise and other issues.

Eventually, the majority of
consumers chose to purchase telephone and internet services on entirely
separate lines, to enjoy a dedicated service for each at any time of the day.
Another example of shared lines becoming a problem is the shared use of
telephone and fax lines, where voice callers tend to get annoying line noise upon connection.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.