Does poor quality dial-up line equal poor quality broadband connection?

Discussion in 'Broadband' started by Rab C, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. Rab C

    Rab C Guest

    I have just moved house and the local rural exchange is due to get
    broadband by 31 December 2005. Meantime, I can only connect to the
    Internet at 28.8k using dial-up. The previous owner had Home Highway and
    that equipment is still in situ but now redundant.

    Should I be pushing BT to try and improve the line or will it be capable
    of decent broadband speeds as it is? I have been told that broadband
    uses different technology, so a poor dial-up connection may not matter.
    Voice calls are OK.

    I am 3km by road from the exchange and the BT Wholesale Availability
    Checker says:

    "Our initial test on your line indicates that you should be able to
    have an ADSL broadband service that provides 2Mbps, 1Mbps, 512Kbps or
    256Kbps line rate."

    This seems promising, but I would welcome any advice from the experts
    here.
     
    Rab C, Nov 7, 2005
    #1
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  2. Rab C

    steve Guest

    My dial up connection was almost always very slow. 28.8 was not so
    bad! Since upgrading to broadband there is no problem maintaining a
    2Mbps connection. In retrospect it looks like my dial up modem was
    suspect but I tried four different ones with different results.
    Connection were always slow. The last really slow dial up was using a
    V92 HaM. My current ADSL modem is one of the much maligned Speedtouch
    330 but it works a treat!
     
    steve, Nov 7, 2005
    #2
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  3. Rab C

    Jon Guest

    Sounds like you could have been on a DACS, which was responsible for
    the slow connect speeds. This'll have been removed when you had
    broadband installed, and if you plug your modem in straight into the
    wall socket (ie not via the filter) I bet you'll get a connection
    faster than before...
     
    Jon, Nov 7, 2005
    #3
  4. Someone more knowledgable than me could say if HH equipment will degrade
    the speech path. My gut feeling is that it will do. The HH equipment at the
    exchange and in your premises ought to be disconnected.
    I think it's the HH equipment that's affecting your dial-up modem speed, in
    much the same that DACS would. The fact that HH was OK means that ADSL
    should be no problem. The line limit for HH is more stringent than for
    broadband.
     
    Jock Mackirdy, Nov 7, 2005
    #4
  5. An interesting concept - DACS and HH on the same line. Please wake up at
    the back of the class.
     
    Jock Mackirdy, Nov 7, 2005
    #5
  6. Rab C

    Don Guest

    I moved to broadband because of the dismal performance of dial-up.
    No problem at all with broadband.

    The other night I went back on to dial-up to clear my desk sort of
    thing...performance was still just as bad.

    I'm glad I have moved to broadband. Another bonus for me is that it is
    more economically to run than dial-up.

    Don.
     
    Don, Nov 7, 2005
    #6
  7. Rab C

    steve Guest

    No, that's not the case. No shared lines.
     
    steve, Nov 7, 2005
    #7
  8. wrote in
    :
    What *is* a DACS? I gather DACS and broadband don't coexist: when I was
    ordering broadband for a customer (who also had max 28 kbps dialup), the BT
    line check said that there was a DACS on the line which would have to be
    removed, taking a but longer than BT's normal order-to-activation delay. But
    what does a DACS do: why would it be on a line? The line was originally
    installed as a fax/dialup line.

    I've heard that a DACS is associated with line-sharing, but in what way is
    the line shared? Two "lines" down one twisted pair to the exchange?
     
    Martin Underwood, Nov 7, 2005
    #8
  9. Rab C

    Chip Guest

    It's basically a carrier system that allows 2 lines to be digitally
    shared over one copper pair. It's a replacement for the old WB series
    analogue carrier units which in turn were a replacement for the old
    shared service connection (party line).

    If the fax/dialup line was a second line at the premises, it's likely
    BT did it due to a shortage of pairs to your distribution point.

    It's limited to a data rate of 28.8kbps and due to the sharp cutoff
    filters and the use of digital carriers on the physical pair back to
    the exchange, it's totally incompatible with pretty much everything
    but a bog standard voice line (ok for fax lines though).

    More info is available here: http://frank.gwc.org.uk/~ali/dacs/

    HTH
     
    Chip, Nov 7, 2005
    #9
  10. Rab C

    Jon Guest

    You'll notice of course that I my reply was to Steve, rather than the
    original poster. Wake up there at the front Jock! ;)
     
    Jon, Nov 7, 2005
    #10
  11. Rab C

    Jon Guest

    It's amazing how slow dial-up seems nowadays, especially when software
    companies seem to assume everybody that everybody has a broadband
    connection. On my dads PC, he'd log in once every week or so, and each
    time it'd take him 40-45 mins to update virus definitions before he
    could check his email!

    One thing to note of course is that the broadband microfilters will
    slow a modem down unless you bi-pass it when dialing up.
     
    Jon, Nov 7, 2005
    #11
  12. Rab C

    Kraftee Guest

    If the equipment is still connected to your line that could be one cause
    of your poor connections speeds. TRy plugging a phone into the
    tellephone sockets on the white box & see if one of them gives you
    dialtone..
    You will get short thrift from BT if you phone up & complain about
    connection speeds
    Check that box, if you do get dial tone from one of the tele ports
    contact BT & ask for it to be removed (it's not as easy as just cutting
    the cable feeding it I'm afraid)..
     
    Kraftee, Nov 7, 2005
    #12
  13. Chip wrote in
    :
    That's plausible. I think the customer *did* say that this line was
    installed more recently than the original voice line to his house. I presume
    in order to supply broadband on the second line, BT will now need to fit an
    additional copper pair to the house.

    How do BT install additional wires between a house and the exchange? I
    presume there are normally many spare pairs in the cable bundles that run
    from the green box distribution point in the street to the exchange, to
    allow for new houses or new lines. What happens if there aren't spare
    pairs - is there a way that a brand new pair can be installed underground to
    the box and from there, either underground or overground to the house? It's
    something I'd never really thought of until now: the logistics of installing
    a brand new pair to a house. Is lack of spare local loop pairs ever used as
    justification for not being able to supply broadband, assuming that you're
    within the maximum line length, or will BT always install extra pairs to
    provide the service?

    Is a DACS only used for providing multiple lines to the same house, or can
    it sometimes to be used to provide a line to a house that has never had a
    phone before when there are insufficient lines to a street, by sharing the
    pair with another house? My parents have a holiday cottage in a remote
    village and when they first had a phone installed they were told by BT that
    the only way it could be done was for BT to fit a multiplexer to allow a
    second "line" to run over an existing pair to a neighbour's phone. I imagine
    that this was a DACS or one of its precursors. They seem to have removed
    this now, as dialup can achieve a respectable 45 kbps rate and there's no
    longer a big black box on the wall before the master socket.
     
    Martin Underwood, Nov 7, 2005
    #13
  14. Rab C

    Chip Guest

    That would seem likely. I am unfamiliar with their exact procedure on
    that, but I believe they will _attempt_ to get DSL to a customer but
    not at the cost of telephone service which remains their number one
    obligation.
    Often, but not always. The main cable to the cabinet may also run out
    of pairs. But usually from my experience and anecdotes from others,
    it's the cable from the green cabinet [PCP] to the distribution point
    itself (small junction box on the pole, or possibly a small 'handhole'
    type box in the pavement/road) that might be the issue. This cable is
    often a very small number of pairs, (20 pairs down to 5 pair I think)
    and it's perfectly simple to run out these days where many people have
    2 or 3 lines, and the line plant was installed for 1 line per house.
    On that I have no idea. I think where they can install new pairs, they
    will, but if it's going to cost them thousands of pounds for one line,
    they would probably not do it unless under a legal obligation.

    I would imagine that if the multi-hundred pair cables to the PCP ran
    out of capacity, common sense would dictate "you have large demand,
    install cables". (applying common sense to a utility company often
    turns out to lead to incorrect answers however).
    They used to install them sometimes on the pole or remote from the
    house, there was no hard and fast rule that said it had to be to one
    property. They do whatever's necessary to supply phone service. That
    said, these days I don't think they fit them anymore (I am probably
    incorrect there and will be told so if that's the case, no doubt
    Yup, that would have been the DACS.
     
    Chip, Nov 7, 2005
    #14
  15. Rab C

    Rab C Guest

    That sounds promising. I wasn't sure if I could trust the BT
    Availability Checker when it suggested I could get a 2Mb connection! All
    I have to do now is choose the right ISP and broadband package :)

    Rab
     
    Rab C, Nov 8, 2005
    #15
  16. Rab C

    Rab C Guest

    Yes, the telephone sockets on the big white box are live - the computer
    modem is actually connected to one of them. Plugging the modem directly
    into the master socket (which is just next to the HH box) makes no
    difference, however - I can still only connect at a maximum of 28.8k.

    Will the HH box have to be removed to allow a broadband connection? If
    so and trusting that the exchange *will* be broadband enabled by 31
    December, I may leave things as they are until I get broadband set up. I
    take it an engineer would need to visit in these circumstances?

    Thanks for your help,
    Rab
     
    Rab C, Nov 8, 2005
    #16
  17. Rab C

    Kraftee Guest

    The poor connection speeds for your analogue modem will probably be
    caused by the 'fall-back' relay inside the NTE9. This should be removed
    before your DSL will work, unless you have a newer model with one yellow
    socket. If you have one of these then (supposedly) the DSL signal will
    be ok, but personally for peace of mind I would put in a request to get
    the blasted thing removed.

    Oh by the way what you are calling the master socket isn't, at the
    present moment, try removing the faceplate & using the test socket that
    could well show you a difference. The faceplate , at the present moment
    isn't directly connected to the back, test socket it feeds the NTE9
    (white box) & a feed comes back from that to the socket on the
    faceplate.
     
    Kraftee, Nov 8, 2005
    #17
  18. The fact that the HH box is live indicates that the corresponding HH box is
    still connected at the exchange. The HH installation will (should) be
    removed by BT when the broadband connection is made at the exchange. Are
    you able to try out the data connection on the HH box to see if it's still
    live as well? Without an ISP account I don't suppose you could do a lot
    with it.
     
    Jock Mackirdy, Nov 8, 2005
    #18
  19. Rab C

    Kraftee Guest

    Without a ISDN TA there isn't a lot he could do to check it either..
     
    Kraftee, Nov 8, 2005
    #19
  20. Rab C

    Kraftee Guest

    Also as implied in my original posting the box may be in fall back mode
    & hence only have dial tone on one socket, the way to check this is to
    remove the faceplate & plug a phone in there. If there is dial tone
    then the box is in fall back mode & is connected to the PSTN side of the
    exchange if there is nothing or just 'battery blow' then he is still
    connected to the ISDN equipment at the exchange, but with the connedtion
    speeds he is getting I'd bet good money it is the former not the
    latter....
     
    Kraftee, Nov 8, 2005
    #20
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