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This usually comes about when there are computers spread out around a house and no wired or wireless network installed to share one modem. Someone attempts to plug a DSL modem in at each computer and have them connected to the same phone line. This does not work, for unlike analog modems that can physically "hang up" the line, DSL modems are always-on and two (or more) can not co-exist at the same time connected to the line.
However, all one has to do is physically unplug the phone line from the DSL modem not in use and the other modem can be used. You can swap back and forth as often as you wish. In other words: Only ONE DSL modem may be connected to the phone line at a time. All others must be disconnected from the line or they will interfere with the connection.