XDSL Connections: What Your Phone Company isn't Telling You

Description: An internet connection that is always on, available at high speed, not shared with anyone else and reasonably priced to boot has to be a good option, and indeed the xDSL connections are well worth having. But there are some disadvantages that you aren't likely to find out about when you are reading all the promotional materials.

Having a DSL (digital subscriber line) of some kind as opposed to a cable broadband connection does have a couple of big advantages that your phone company will be eager to tell you about. Firstly you won't have to have any additional drilling or cabling coming into your home, since the broadband connection will be brought to you through the telephone line you already have installed.

Secondly you won't experience a slowdown in the speed of your broadband at busy times. This is because you and only you will be using your phone line to get broadband access. With cable lots of people will all be using the same main cable to get their access to the internet, which can slow things down considerably if everyone is using it at the same time and reaching the limits of the bandwidth which are given over to that line.

It sounds like a dream come true - the best service which is usually available at a great price. But in truth there are things about your service which your phone company won't be as eager to tell you about, and yet you need to find out about them if you are to get the full picture of what your phone company is really offering you.

First off there is the question of distance. Now if you live right next door to where your broadband service is coming from, this won't ever be a problem. But if you live miles from the source of your broadband then your speed and connectivity are likely to be affected. Not surprisingly this isn't something the phone companies will want to tell you about - leaving you to find out about it after you have signed up for the service.

It's a fact that if your phone company advertises their broadband service as being ?up to 3 Mbps' for example, and you live miles from the source of your signal, you will probably never get anywhere near that speed.

But as far as using your line is concerned, you shouldn't have any connections problems right? That's because you are the only one using it. Unfortunately that also isn't always the case. There are still limits to what can be provided - except this time the limits are with your service provider.

Whichever way you cut it, there is a limit to the amount of bandwidth they can provide their own network with. If they sell more than they have - on the assumption that not enough people will ever be online all at once to create problems - then they are laying themselves wide open to not being able to provide the service they are selling.

The other main point to watch out for is the age of your phone lines. When telephone lines were first invented no one had even thought that they might one day be used for anything other than telephones. But then along came the internet and people started looking at ways to provide faster and more efficient services using the technology we already had available.

Inevitably this means that in some cases certain telephone lines may not be adequate enough to serve the purpose of bringing a high speed internet connection into your home, so you must make a point of checking with your intended provider before you sign a contract to receive broadband access from them.

At the very least this will save headaches, cancelled contracts and wasted time further down the line.

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