Go faster, Daddy–Part IV

Go faster, Daddy–Part IV

By Richard Heller

Go faster, Daddy–Part IV

Digital Subscriber Line or DSL is high-speed Internet access that uses standard phone lines that allow you to download up to 150 times and upload up to 30 times faster than a 56K modem. You can talk on the telephone and access the Internet at the same time on one telephone line. This is accomplished by using high frequency for the data and low frequency for the voice.

In order to achieve these speeds your home or office must be located no farther than about two miles from the telephone central office. The farther away that you are the lower your speed will be. If you were 3.5 miles away your speed would drop to about three times faster than 56K.

The average monthly cost for DSL service is $50, but with this service you pay according to what speed that you want to achieve. The higher the speed, the more you will pay for the service, as high as $130 per month, and you may still have to pay a monthly fee to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) in order to have e-mail service or to connect to web sites.

In addition, the installation cost may be as high as $300 plus the cost of the hardware (DSL modem and network card) which could be as much as $400. You may also be required to commit to a contract of one to two years of service.

There are certain sections of Rockford that have DSL service available. If you go to the web site www.getspeed.com and enter your address and phone number you can find out if the service is available and get a list of available providers. Approximately 40% of the homes in the US live in an area that can be served by DSL service.

In order to use DSL service you need a PC, a network card (NIC), telephone line and a DSL modem. You can get the modem and NIC from the service provider or a local computer store.

Your service provider will setup your telephone wiring for DSL service. Depending on how your house is wired they may have to install splitters in order to separate the phone signals, one for the DSL modem, and one for your voice telephone line. They will install the NIC and connect the modem to it. Then they will run some diagnostics to verify everything is working. Then they will adjust your software to take advantage of the higher speed. It can take a couple of hours to get the service working properly.

One of the problems that the installer will look for is interference caused by your telephones and they will install filters to clear up the signal.

Some of the problems you may encounter are slowdowns caused by many users in your area trying to be online at the same time. Some modems have inadequate shielding that allows electrical interference from appliances to interfere with the modem signal. The DSL modems that are pre-installed in some computers that are limited in speed, not allowing you to connect at the maximum speed that you are paying for.

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