Can a lower speed DSL account actually be faster?

I live in a rural area, and I'm probably at (or maybe even beyond) the maximum DSL distance limit of my telco remote office.

It's likely that I'm pushing my rural phone line beyond it's speed capabilities. The reason why I was even hooked up to DSL in the first place is a long story, so I won't bore you with the details. You might say that I have the service on a "trial" basis.

The DSL service plan I'm trying provides up to 1.5 Mbps download speed. Most of the time I'm getting about 600 Kbps speed. Sometime however the speed is much worse. It occasionally dips to < 100 Kbps, with upload speeds faster than download.

My question is this: The DSL provider also offers lower speed (up to

384 Kbps) service plan. Would I get better overall performance by switching to this plan? Does the phone company simply "cripple" the throughput for their lower speed customers, or is there an actual difference in how the slower speed customer is served DSL (i.e. lower speed = fewer packet errors)? If I switched to the lower speed plan, would I simply be limiting my higher upper end speed to 384 Kbps and still suffer the occasional < 100 Kbps performance?
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Not bad. At least some aspects of your line are usable if you can get that download rate most of the time.

That is a bad drop. You should try to find out what is causing it. Some modems, like the Efficient 5200 router model, have a web page that shows DSL and ATM statistics. On the DSL stats, you can see attenuation and signal to noise ratio. Some interfering signal could be the cause of these performance dips. If your modem does not show you this information, you could ask your ISP if they can access the stats. You might find

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to be a good place to visit to learn more about your modem and how to interpret these data. Also, you might find that a different modem would work better.



Yes, unless you can get control of the problem. In case you have not done it yet, you should at least make sure that your own home is reasonably well wired for DSL. A long line is more likely the problem, but you can make sure that you are at least not further limited by your own wiring or by an interferance source in your home.

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George Pontis

The speed of your internet connection even when using copper cables(PSTN) varies along with distance..... However what you need to know is that this distance is the distance from your premises to the actual DSLAM that is present at the telephone operator's "Exchange" premises and not the NOC centre. Now since your telephone connection is operative your telephone "exchange" would be in a radius of appox. 5-6 kms (thats where your dslam is); indeed you should get a speed of atleast 1.4 Mbps as per your connection plan and if you are not getting it---- blame it on your isp.

The reasons could be the following ::

  1. Line parameters dont allow you to get the right speed --- check the parameters (s/n ratio/attenuation in the line and the most common one

-- tell the isp to see if there's any "touching" between two telephone lines,obviously one of which is yours).

2.The DSL jumpering may be faulty. --- Tell the isp to check the jumpering for faults at the MDF (main distribution frame).

3.Tell the isp to check on the main ports, whether sufficient bandwidth has been released for your account.

  1. Line parameters must be set such that you can avail a bandwitdh as per your plans.--- some routers/modems enable you to check this one !!

I think you should get the speed as per your plans .....


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Before looking too hard at the ISP, I'd also recommend checking his MTU settings on his PC. Sometimes the solution is simple tuning.

When I first installed DSL I found that my download speeds were quite slow; primarily because I hadn't tuned the system and reset the MTU settings from dialup (500 something) to their current settings of 1492. Once I reset the MTU settings (on both the PC, the router, and the DSL modem, the downloads average the advertised 1.5MB and, depending on the download server, they quit often exceed that speed.

In addition to broadband reports etc, I'd recommend the OP spend some time on, and in particular check out tcpoptimizer:

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(determining your ISP's MTU}
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(I had problems with version 2 of tcpoptimizer so I'd recommend sticking with version 1 to start)

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