This invention relates to an echo canceller, for a transmission line, including a shift register having an input for receiving an input signal from a signal source and having a plurality of output taps for providing a plurality of equally spaced delayed signals. A tap coefficient storage memory stores a plurality of tap coefficients. A multiplier multiplies certain of the delayed signals by certain tap coefficients to produce multiplier outputs. A tap allocation circuit determines, on a tap by tap basis, how many and which of the taps are to be turned ON so that its corresponding tap coefficients are multiplied by the multiplier. A subtracter cancels echoes by subtracting the multiplier outputs from signals received on the transmission line. Taps which are turned OFF may be assigned a status of STANDBY and these taps may be activated to compensate for changes in the characteristics of the transmission line.