Line Speed

What Does Line Speed Mean?

When using internet services, line speed refers to the maximum speed a line can
support. Fifty Mbps is an example of line speed. Line speed depends on several
factors such as line quality, distance of the cabinet or exchange and whether
the ADSL micro-filters are installed correctly. It is not always possible for a line to function at its highest potential speed.


Techopedia Explains Line Speed

Line speed can depend on the plan purchased from an internet service provider (ISP). Even then, it may not be possible to get the highest available
speed all the time because of several factors. For example, while a highway may allow a maximum speed of 65 mph, it may not always be possible to
travel at that speed, especially if it has been snowing hard or there is a traffic jam – it works the same way in the case of line speed.

When the highest
speed is affected, the resultant speed is known as the
throughput speed. The throughput speed is the actual download speed of an internet connection as opposed to that stated in the internet plan. Throughput
speed varies depending on the server load or whether the service is being used
at peak hours, for example. The best time to achieve the line speed may be
during non-peak hours, especially when the number of users of the internet
service may be low.


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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.