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Dialup Configuration
Dialup FAQ
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E-Mail FAQ
Tech Glossary
Software Download
General Information

Connection Speed
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Connection Speed

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.

Internet Speeds

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 second.

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