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Update: DSL Speed Boost

December 11, 2004

rj12 network crimper

For those that read my previous entry on increasing your broadband DSL upload and download speed, I’ve got an update.

A couple of friends loaned me an RJ12 crimper and a spool of white CAT6 cable (I’ve got a spool of CAT5, but its bright blue. Great for patch cables, not so great for discreetly running along baseboards). I took my own advise and replaced even more of the line between the DSL modem and the PacBell phone box, so instead of having non-twisted pair running under/through the house until it reaches the phone plug in the office, I threaded CAT6 directly from the DSL splitter to the DSL modem- about 30′ in length.

As I reported earlier, I was seeing an average of 600kbps down/300kbps up after the splitter and router upgrade mods. After running the CAT6, I was seeing a consistant 640/320. An increase in 40kbps down isn’t much, but at least its consistant now- who knows what sort of interferance was randomly slowing things down on the way to my router before… and it had an added benefit. It didn’t occur to me that my line would be capped- but seeing such consistant numbers across multiple speed test locations pointed at a limitation on my end.

So I gave my service provider a call (who BTW wins a prize for being very reponsive every time I’ve called) and they suggested that PacBell may have capped my line when I was having network issues a while ago. PacBell, in their infinite wisdom, never bothered to check the line for improvement in the months that followed. So sonic.net filed a ticket with Pacbell to uncap the line, and about an hour later (to PacBell’s credit), I had voicemail from them saying they were going to run line checks . Checking my like again, I’m now getting 1270/320- doubling my download speed!

So I’ve got a 4th bullet now to add to the list of things to do to increase your speed: call your provider and make sure your line isn’t capped. It doesn’t cost a thing.

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From → Misc

4 Comments
  1. Matty A permalink

    Are you referring to a line tap or some type of rate limiting?
    Thanks,
    – Ryan

  2. yeah, making sure your line isn’t capped is key. a few years ago i had some roommates who were willing to pay extra for the full business dsl speeds. at a capped rate we would get 1.5mbps downstream … uncapped we were at nearly 6mbps. huge difference.

    of course we were right around the corner from the local pacbell exchange, so that helps too šŸ˜‰

  3. re: “Are you referring to a line tap or some type of rate limiting?”, I’m referring to a line *cap*. Your phone company will cap your transfer rate upper limit- and only they can uncap it.

    Note that this is not the same as *tapping* your line, which is what the phone co’s voice guys do to install new lines for others onto the wires you use- which effecively increases the “perceived distance” from your box to the exchange. (the longer the distance, the slower the data rate.) I don’t think its within your rights, but if you get a friendly phone guy, you can ask that you get a dedicated wire pair as far upstream as possible.

  4. Sweet – that’s pretty cool. My handyman guys was out replacing some other wiring, and I was like hey, while you’re at it, mind replacing my DSL line all the way to the box? My speed definitley seems improved now – but I’ll need to run some tests.

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