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©iCEBOX, LLC, September 2001
3. Digital vs. Analog Phone Lines
Two types of phone lines commonly available: analog and digital. Most homes are
wired with analog phone lines. Digital lines are usually found in commercial and
industrial sites. However, newer homes, apartments, and condominiums may be
pre-wired with high speed digital phone lines.
All modems, including the modem in the iCEBOX, require an analog phone line.
Connecting a modem to a digital line will cause permanent damage to the
To determine which type of line you have, look at the phone line connector. An
analog phone connector is terminated with 2 or 4 copper wires. A digital
connector is terminated with 6 or 8 copper wires. If you cannot determine for
which type of phone line you have, contact your phone service provider.
If You Have a Digital Phone Line:
In commercial buildings, apartment buildings, and condominiums, digital phone
lines usually come from a "telephone switch" or PBX located in the building. These
telephone switches will also support analog phone lines. The telephone system
administrator can arrange for an analog phone line to be brought to your location
from the local telephone switch.
If you live in a house wired with a digital line, you can arrange with your phone
company to have an analog line brought into your home. In addition, many digital
phone manufacturers offer inexpensive adapters that plug into the digital phone
line and convert it to an analog line. These adapters usually work best at lower