Initial Connection Speed:
The speed that your computer connects to the Internet is greatly
influenced by a large number of factors.
When you connect to the Internet, the modem will make a series of
"squeeks and squawks". This is your modem talking to our
modem and agreeing on the most suitable speed. If the line is poor
quality, the speed will be lower. In the Shoalhaven area the quality
of the lines can range from very good (i.e. Within the Nowra CBD)
to very very poor (i.e. Kangaroo Valley). Due to these differences
in quality, the speed that your computer connects can be widely
different to another persons (even on the same street as you).
Differences in phone line connections can also cause your connection
speed to vary considerably - Telstra have a large number of ways
of connecting your house to the main exchange, you may be on a Pair
Gains System (PGS) or could be connected to a RIM (single fibre
line to exchange, split at a box in the housing estate). Every extra
piece of equipment between your computer and us can have a large
impact upon the speed that you connect at. Problems on the line
may not affect your voice calls at all - modems can pick up noise
and problems that are out of range for the human ear.
Telstra have a minimum service requirement of 21600bps. If you are
getting speeds below this, contact Telstra ASAP and request a MOLDS
test and contact us to get your configuration checked out.
Another important thing to remember is that Windows will only report
your INITIAL connection speed. The speed is continuously being re-negotiated
in the background as line conditions vary. This re-negotiation is
often a reason for dropouts - You will get the initial connection
fine, but as time goes on, the line condition may drop and become
unsuitable for any data transfer, causing a dropout.
The Speed at which you download from a webpage or other Internet
connection is determined by several things. Firstly, the Webpage
you are downloading from must have the spare resources and bandwidth
to process the request. If the site is a high traffic site, or undergoing
a period of unusual load, the download may become very slow. Most
webpages have more than ample bandwidth, and you will usually be
limited by your modem speed. Most modern modems support a maxiumum
speed of 56 000 bits per second (or 56k/s). This is the theoretical
maximum - It is very unlikely that you will ever see this speed
in a working environment. More likely is that you will have a connection
speed somewhere between 33.6k/s and 53k/s.
The confusion in speeds usually stems from the fact that modem speeds
are reported in KiloBITS per second, while Windows and most programs
report speeds in KiloBYTES per second. The reason for the difference
is purely a marketing one - 56 000 Kilobits per second sounds a
lot quicker than 7 Kilobytes per second. You can work the approximate
"real-world" speed from your connection speed, by dividing
the connection speed by 8 (1 byte = 8 bits, therefore 7 kilobytes
= 7 x 8 (8 bits per byte) x 1000 (kilo = 1000) = 56 000). So a connection
speed of 48 kilobits per second will equate to approximately 6 Kilobytes
per second. A connection speed of 33.6 kilobits per second will
equate to 4.2 kilobytes per second.
By using compression, this speed can be increased slightly, but
the most that you will get will usually be around 8 kilobytes per