This article is about ADSL service offered by TSTT in Trinidad and Tobago.

ADSL is an acronym for: Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. It provides faster Internet/data transfer speeds (as compared to speeds from 56K dial-up modems) over existing telephone lines. The local service is “asymmetric” because download speeds are faster than upload speeds.

ADSL can provide reliable speeds as high as 256 kbits/s, but is limited by distance and the quality of available phone lines (good quality = high speed, bad quality e.g. “noise” on the line = slow speed, closer to the DSLAM-enabled telephone exchange = higher speeds, further away from the DSLAM-enabled telephone exchange = slower speeds).

What are the features of ADSL?

  • Speed: According to TSTT, ADSL service is 2x to as much as 5x faster than an analog 56K (kilobits/s) dial-up modem.
  • Convenience: Voice and data can be transmitted over a single copper line. You can make or receive voice phone calls while connected to the Internet.
  • Instant connection: Each customer has a dedicated connection to the Internet. There is no need to call a local phone number, wait for the modem to connect and then logon to the ISP’s service.
  • Unlimited Internet access: TSTT has a flat monthly fee. No fixed number of hours, no billing by the minute, no overtime charges.
  • Cost Savings: The TSTT ADSL service uses the same phone lines as the voice telephone service. There is no need to install an additional telephone line.
  • Telephone voice features, for example: call waiting, call forwarding, voice mail, caller ID etc. will still work even though you have ADSL installed on the line.

Which areas of the country have ADSL service?

ADSL service is available in:

  • Arima
  • Chaguanas
  • Couva
  • Diego Martin
  • Maraval
  • Mausica
  • Port of Spain
  • San Fernando
  • San Juan
  • St. Augustine
  • St. Clair
  • St. James
  • Woodbrook

What sort of computer should I use for ADSL service?

TSTT recommends a computer with the following minimum configuration:

  • 166 MHz or greater Pentium-based processor
  • 32MB RAM
  • Windows 95 or later
  • 10 Base T Ethernet network interface card (NIC) (for connection to router) OR available USB port (for connection to speed-touch USB modem).

In the real world, you would need a machine with at least a 500MHz processor (AMD or Intel), 128MB RAM, Windows (98SE, ME, 2000, XP).

Mac users: TSTT does not support the mac platform (OS 9 and OS X) at this time. However, you can use the USB modem if you can find appropriate drivers for your mac.

Linux users: TSTT does not support Linux at this time, however, the 3COM router should work if you have a network interface card (NIC) installed in your system. Recent Linux kernels do support the Alcatel Speed Touch USB modem. Do a Google search for the relevant HOW-TO.

Can my existing (analog) modem work on the TSTT ADSL system?

No. Here are the reasons why:

  • ADSL is DIGITAL and your modem is analog.
  • ADSl operates at frequencies not supported by analog modems.
  • They use different transmission protocols.

However, your analog modem can be used as usual on the same phone line where ADSL is installed, even when you are connected via ADSL.

Can my (USA/Canada/European/Asian/”foreign”) ADSL modem/router work on the TSTT system?

Use the following links:

What brands/models of ADSL modems/routers work with TSTT’s ADSL system?

The TSTT ADSL system uses Point-to-Point Protocol over ATM (also know as PPPoA or RFC 2364 standard). In other countries, PPPoE (PPP over Ethernet) is more popular with ADSL providers. Since most modem/router manufacturers cater for the PPPoE market, it will be difficult to find an affordable PPPoA modem. You are more or less stuck with the Alcatel Speed Touch USB Modem or 3Com router that TSTT provides with its various packages.

If anyone has information on a reliable/reputable source of affordable PPPoA modems/routers please contact the creator of this page.

See also: I want to purchase my ADSL mode/router from (USA/Canada/Europe/Asia/”foreign”) and use it on the TSTT system

What are the rates for ADSL service?

All prices are in TT dollars and are VAT inclusive.

Residential Service:

Business package 1:

  • One-time service install charge: TT$874.00.
  • Monthly rental: TT$1150.00.
  • Features: 128k down, 64k up; Dynamic IP Address; Advanced Firewall; 4 E-mail Addresses..

Business package 2:

  • One-time service install charge: TT$874.00.
  • Monthly rental: TT$1,788.25.
  • Features: 256k down, 64k up; Dynamic IP Address; Advanced Firewall; 4 E-mail Addresses..

Business package 3:

  • One-time service install charge: TT$874.00.
  • Monthly rental: TT$2,415.00.
  • Features: 384k down, 128k up; Dynamic IP Address; Advanced Firewall; 4 E-mail Addresses..

Business package 4:

  • One-time service install charge: TT$874.00.
  • Monthly rental: TT$3,053.25.
  • Features: 512k down, 128k up; Dynamic IP Address; Advanced Firewall; 4 E-mail Addresses..

Business package 5:

  • One-time service install charge: TT$874.00.
  • Monthly rental: TT$3,691.50
  • Features: 768k down, 128k up; Dynamic IP Address; Advanced Firewall; 4 E-mail Addresses..

Business package 6:

  • One-time service install charge: TT$874.00.
  • Monthly rental: TT$4,329.75
  • Features: 1544k down, 128k up; Dynamic IP Address; Advanced Firewall; 4 E-mail Addresses..

Business users can also get static IP addresses (up to a maximum of 4). Contact TSTT for more information.

Common to both residential and business packages:

  • Additional charges may apply if TSTT has to upgrade internal wiring at the customer’s premsises or the telephone line.
  • Additional E-mail address costs TT$23.00.
  • There is a TT$402.50 modem installation charge if a TSTT technician has to install the modem/router at the customer’s premises.
  • There is a rental discount of 5% for service contracts of 1 year.
  • There is a rental discount of 10% for service contracts of 2 years.
  • There is a rental discount of 15% for service contracts of 3 years.
  • Customers who sign up for these service contract periods (1, 2 or 3 years) will be issued modems free of charge (while stocks last).

I want to purchase my ADSL modem/router from (USA/Canada/Europe/Asia/”foreign”) and use it on the TSTT system

If you wish to obtain an ADSL modem/router from a source other than TSTT, it must meet the following specifications:

  • The modem/router must support PPPoA (Point-to-Point Protocol over ATM) or RFC 2364 standard.
  • Must be compliant with the Alcatel chip set standard in order to be compatible with the Alcatel DSLAM equipment used by TSTT.
  • Must support full rate ADSL using DMT (Discrete Multi Tone) modulation.
  • Must support transmission rates up to 1,544 Kbps downstream.
  • Must be configured to use a VPI value of 0 and a VCI value of 35.

TSTT does NOT support PPPoE (PPP over Ethernet) on its system, at this time.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • Does ADSL require a new/separate phone line? No. An existing telephone line can be used for ADSL Internet service. However, customers can apply for a separate line if they so desire.
  • Can customers install the ADSL modem/router by themselves? Yes, customers can install the ADSL modem/router by themselves. Alternatively, TSTT can install the modem/router for TT$402.50 (VAT inclusive).
  • Does ADSL require any special cabling at the customer premises? No. It is designed to be used with the existing copper infrastructure. However, if you want to re-wire/want to install new cables, you should use CAT-5 cable (the type of cable used for networking computers on a local area network (LAN) and terminate it in standard telephone outlets not ethernet sockets).
  • I cannot get ADSL service in my area. Why? ADSL service is not available to everyone. If you want the service:
    • The service address must be located in an area with a DSLAM-enabled telephone exchange. That is, TSTT has ADSL equipment in the exchange from which the customer receives phone (voice) service. These locations already have ADSL service.
    • The service address must be located within a specific distance from the DSLAM-enabled exchange (usually 3 miles or less).
    • The service address must be located an area where TSTT has not installed equipment that will enhance voice signals but cause problems for the ADSL signal.
    • Telephone service must be provided to the service address via copper wires. ADSL is not available to customers who receive telephone service via fibre-optic or wireless local loop.
  • What is the billing procedure for ADSL? If the service uses an existing phone line, the line number and billing remains the same, fees for services such as call-waiting, caller ID, voice mail etc. will appear as normal. The bill will also contain an additional, monthly fee for the ADSL Internet service. If it is a separate phone line, a telephone number will be assigned and a separate bill will be issued for both the telephone line and ADSL service.
  • Will the ADSL line have a constant speed? or will it vary? According to TSTT, connectivity speed (that is from the customer location to TSTT’s DSLAM equipment) is constant. Any perceived reduction in speed could be due to: the line quality, Internet congestion and the speed of the servers which host the Web sites that are being accessed.
  • Will TSTT protect me from “hackers”/crackers/viruses/trojans? Here is the official statement from TSTT: [QUOTE] TSTT SHALL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE for the unauthorized access by customers or users to information held by other persons or organizations participating in the INTERNET (known as “HACKING”) or for any virus or harmful program which may be introduced by a customer or user, or for any unlawful or unauthorized or fraudulent access to or use of the customer HIGH SPEED INTERNET SERVICE by any person.[END QUOTE]
  • Does TSTT offer a “Quality of service” guarentee? No. Here is the official statement from TSTT: [QUOTE] Customers are not guaranteed service availability in all areas. Actual ADSL line speeds will depend on several factors including customer location, computer performance and configuration, network or WWW congestion, Web sites accessed and current phone line conditions. Speed of service, uninterrupted and error free service is not guaranteed. [END QUOTE]

How do I contact TSTT for more information?

  • Via the TSTT Sales Office, telephone number: 824-TSTT (8788).
  • At the official TSTT website:

The following links on the TSTT website also provide further information:

(Created : August 1st, 2003, Updated : February 1st, 2005)


The creator(s) of this page and the TTCS are not affiliated with Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT). This page has not been endorsed in any way by TSTT. Information on this page is subject to change without further notice. If you use any information from this page, you do so at your own discretion and risk and you are solely responsible for any and all: financial loss, damage to your equipment or loss of data that may result directly or indirectly from such use.

In other words, if you screw-up, or your equipment or data gets screwed up, it is 100% YOUR fault! Don’t blame anyone else.