Telephone wiring question for the experts

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by donsgal, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    SW Missouri near Branson (Cape Fair)
    Where I live our dial up internet access comes in at 26k. I called our local phone company about this, and they sent out a technician who told me that my line was a "parity" (not PARTY) line. He explained that meant that rather than running in a separate line to each house in the subdivision, they have split the line and used it for two phone lines.

    About three years ago I had a second phone line put in when I was doing some work at home. I asked the technician if that was the problem, that the line was split for the second number. He said no. (I still doubt this).

    I have attempted to contact my phone company (Centurytel) and after being on the phone for THREE HOURS and talking to four different departments, the best they could do was "Send out a technician to check your line" DOH!!!!!!!!!! I told them that wouldn't help, that it was a technician who told me what the problem was. *silence* "Well ma'am, all I can do is request a service call"

    Arghhhhhhhhh

    Can anybody here, who is knowledgeable about such things tell me if there is any way to fix this? I can't get DSL or Cable Internet where I live and I don't want to get satellite right now, because (hopefully) we will be moving to the homestead later this year, and I don't want to pay for another installation. But internet at 26k is so painfully slow, it's making me crazy.

    If anyone has any suggestions, I would be eternally grateful.

    donsgal
     
  2. HiouchiDump

    HiouchiDump Well-Known Member

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    In your typical phone cable, there are four wires. Two are used per line. I think what they are saying in your case is that one cable has been run from the main to two residences, so you have one one pair available from the line.

    This isn't be a problem from the standpoint of dial up - one pair is all you need for any single phone line. Now, there could be issues with the line if the pairs are separated at a difference. The electric characteristics of a phone line are partly created by physical closeness of the four wires. When they are separated out, interference could increase. Realistically, this is not likely to be a big problem.

    26k is a pretty good yield from a dial-up line. I used to get around 12k on average. Most people do not actually see 56k. I suspect that you are simply seeing average dial-up performance and that it won't be improved by any cable wrangling.
     

  3. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

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    I don't know exactly what they mean by the 'parity' line, but unless regulations have changed, don't expect the phone company to do much to fix this for you. I worked at a dialup ISP doing tech support back in 1999-2000 and we had lots of customers with junk phone lines and slow connect speeds. Federal regulations only require the telco to provide a good enough line for 9600bps service. If you're getting 26000, they may tell you that's as good as it gets. In city areas many people can get up to the high 40ks, but in rural areas it's a crapshoot. I recall working with one rural customer for hours and hours over a couple of days trying all sorts of different settings and different modems even, but nothing could overcome the line problems they had.
     
  4. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I had a friend who had worked for the phone company here all his life, (passed on now), but explained to me oh how ours worked,,

    IN our situation there are two wires that go from the local switch gear, in town to our farm and about 6 other farms, all on the same two wires, at first when it was a "party line" originally you had different rings and they all rang at all houses, but you could tell by the ring type , (short and a long) which party was being wanted,
    and any one on the party line could listen in,

    OK the next step was to individualize the rings, and that was by getting ringers that worked off of different frequency's, 20 cycles 30 cycles 50 cycles and so on, and in sted of the coded ring only your phone rang, but if you picked up all could listen in yet,

    then we got the "private line" and only I could hear my conversation, and that was done by using a box out side my house that kinda worked like a radio, and the entire phone conversation was sent on the two wires on a individuals frequency, and only I could hear that conversation or ring, and even use the phone at the same time some one else was using it, as they conversation was being carried on a different frequency,
    (this is why some times you are talking and it sounds like you can kinda hear another conversation bleeding thorough, kinda like through a wall taking place in a different room). it is another conversation on the same circuit that is bleeding over on your frequency,

    I am not exactly certain that is what you have but my guess is that is similar to your set up, i think ours is still an analog system, but you said parity and that usually has to do with a digital set up to my understanding, the info is probably being transmitted in a similar way but digitally now, and do to the noise on the line that is probably the fastest it can transmit and check it self for errors

    check out the google search below and it may help you some,
    [ame]http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=line+parity+phone+line[/ame]
     
  5. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    You most likely have a multiplexed line. Its what phone company does to economize on copper line. Usually works ok with voice phone service, but cuts bandwidth in half for computer. Phone companies usually wont even admit this exists. If you pin them down they will tell you they are only responsible for providing acceptable voice phone service, not computer bandwidth.

    The only possible chance you have is to complain about unspecified line noise. Dont mention your computer at all!!!!!!!!!! Sometimes if they get tired enough of you complaining about line noise they will give you the full connection. Then its a matter of distance from phone company hub as to speed. Most likely you will get somewhere between 35k to over 50k.

    Personally just to surf, dialup isnt too bad. Small fast operating system, and turning off images and javascript can make big noticable difference. Downloading big files is pain in rear on dialup, no matter how you figure it.

    and to comiserate, I have multiplexed line and connect at 24k to 26k, but speed test says my average surf speed is 18k to 21k. Aint we got fun.
     
  6. freeinalaska

    freeinalaska Well-Known Member

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    Hermitjuhn is correct about the multiplexed line. This is common even in some cities because areas out grow their copper facilities. The speed restrictions don't really come from the actual multiplexing on the digital signals, but from digital to analogue (D/A or A/D) conversions. If your telephone line comes out of the central office as what is called a POTS (plain old telephone service) line it is then fed to the multiplexer and converted to a digital signal and transported over a digital carrier, most likely a T1. At the far end it is then converted from digital back to a standard analogue POTS line. The fact that there are two analogue to digital conversions (or visa versa) limits data to a theoretical 28.8Kbs. Other factors will reduce the speeds even more. Many telephone companies, the one I work for included, are eliminating the first A/D conversion by sending the dial tone directly out of the switch as a digital signal thus eliminating one conversion and inceasing data rated to about 48K.

    The state of Alaska has required us to provide data speeds in excess of 28.8K for any new service installed and to increase existing service to these parameters by a certain date. We have had to eliminate all of these double D/A conversion systems over the last year.

    Best you could do is call your state regulatory commission (PUC).
     
  7. electronrider

    electronrider Well-Known Member

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    The maximun data rate required that the phone company provides is 14k. Your probably on a "digital carrier" which multiplexes a few lines, and thats where the issue is. Theres nothing you can do about it, they are used because of limited copper lines, as previously mentioned.
     
  8. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    Everyone else pegged it on your phone line question.

    Frankly if you're connecting at 26k out in the country consider yourself lucky. I'd be lucky to connect at 12k out in the sticks here if I even had a local dial up number which I don't.

    Oh, and don't expect anything from CenturyHell. THE most WORTHLESS telco in existence. They don't invest in their infrastructure to bring DSL or anything to their customers in my area. On the other hand the fact that they don't update their equipment is marvelously helpful for reasons which I won't get into....*ahem*
     
  9. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    Thanks all for the info, I'll do what I can, but maybe just spring for Wild Blue *sigh*.

    donsgal
     
  10. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    I'm waaaaaay out in the country on dialup. I usually connect between 40 and 44. I used to have a problem with my connection being dropped several times in a hour. I called the support people and they had me open all kinds of windows and check things. Finally they got me to a window where they told me to change the setting on my computer from 56 to 28. They explained that by connecting at 28 I wouldn't get booted so often. Needless to say... I did not make that change. Told the support man thanks and hung up.

    If you always connect at 26 it might be that your computer is set to connect at that speed. I don't remember how we got to the window with that setting so can't help you check it. Maybe some computer guru will come along and know what I'm talking about and walk you thru the steps to check it.