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          The quality of your internet connection greatly depends on the quality of the phone line from the computer to the telephone company's central office. This includes the phone line in your house and the telephone line on the poles running down your street. It also includes the phone lines in your neighborhood. Having a new phone line doesn't guarantee perfection. It may be new to you but the copper pair that your phone service uses may have been installed several years ago. Some phone lines may cause internet service problems only when the weather is rainy, windy or very humid. Slowing the speed of the internet connection will normally help resolve this problem during those adverse weather conditions.

          Phone companies often use a device called SLC-96 (also called a concentrator). This device is a multiplexor. It puts 96 phone lines together into a single digital line. This puts more than one analog-to-digital conversion in your connection which will limit your internet connection to 28.8kpbs. If the card in the SLC-96 is broken you may hear voices on your phone line and you may have internet connection problems (disconnects).

          Another source of common internet connection problems is the inside wiring. These problems can be caused by items such as a faulty telephone on the same line as the computer. That faulty telephone can put noise on the line. Items such as a fax machine, phone line lightning arrestor, surge supressor, caller-id, etc.. can cause these types of problems as well. Normally, if the user connects their phone line from the wall jack directly into the computer this will fix or bypass a lot of these problems.

          Often, when someone upgrades their internet connection from a 28.8 modem to a high speed 56k modem they start to experience problems with their internet service. Internet connections tend to be more reliable with a 28.8kbps modem because 56k modems are much more susceptible to changes in the telephone lines quality.

          If you are having problems with your internet connection being unusually slow or experiencing disconnects the phone company may be your last hope. Try calling the phone company's service department and request they check your phone line for noise. As suggested by most modem manufacturers you may need to emphasize noise on the phone you can hear and NOT your internet service.

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