Why isn’t my Dial-up / DSL as fast as it used to be?

posted in: Digicom News | 0

Both Dial-up and DSL/ADSL technologies are considered “Legacy Technology” and ride copper wiring from your home to a NOC (Network Operations Center).  While the NOCs have the latest in technology and high-speed connections, it is the phone line between your wall receptacle, the miles of phone lines, all the way to the NOC which is the problem zone.  Those phone lines are at least 35 years old and some areas can be 50+ years old. All those lines are not being maintained to the level they used to be.  Phone companies would love to totally abandon that technology altogether, so they have very little interest in keeping it repaired to tip-top shape, they stop at “it works at all” and that is it.  These are just some of the reasons the phone lines are getting worse, thus slowing dial-up and DSL speeds:

  1. Fault Wiring:  Rodents love to make homes in junction boxes where they love to chew on those wires.  That causes crackling in the lines, which means slower speeds.  Can you imagine trying to find a faulty wire that a squirrel chewed on in over 5 miles of wiring?
  2. Weather:  In all that wiring, all it takes is a small cut in the jacket or a small hole in a junction box to allow rain to get in.  That rain will short out the wires and cause noise in the connection, thus slowing down the speeds.
  3. Corrosion:  If you have ever touched a phone wire in your house, you may have found it just broke off in your hand.  The age of that copper wire is sure a big reason legacy services will be coming to an end soon.
  4. Electrical Interference:  If your phone lines are in close proximity to electrical wires, something with a magnetic field, or even close to someone talking on a cell phone, then you are sure to have noise.

So while we work hard to keep updated equipment in place to keep the legacy services running the best we can, we are at the mercy of local telephone companies providing a clear pathway from your home to the NOC.  In the 1990’s we had great pull with phone companies as an Internet Provider.  Not only in getting the phones working but working to maximize the transmission speeds of your modem.  In the early 2000s, they started to be less concerned about optimizing the transmission speeds, and then now in 2021, they simply could care less if the quality is there or not.  They will fix the lines to get a dial-tone for phones, but that’s as far as they will go on repairs.

So, as much as we hate to say this, 2021 will probably be the final year for these legacy services as your local phone providers just end the pathways to get to our services.  We’ll keep battling for you as long as we can. However, we hope you understand we have no say in the quality of phones your local company provides you, or if they decide to terminate it altogether. 

While cable, cellular, and satellite services are more expensive than dial-up and DSL, they are more reliable and dramatically faster.  Cable is usually the next best service for the money, but if cable services are not available in your area, we do have solutions via cellular modems or satellite.  We have greatly appreciated your business and we want to be responsible for helping you find the right service for the best price for you, even if that isn’t with Digicom.