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Poor dial-up connection speeds

Access to a dial up Internet service is provided through numerous physical and software components. Any of these components can affect the quality of the connection. Connecting to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) requires the following:

  • Modem driver or software
  • A modem
  • A telephone line from the modem to the wall
  • A telephone wire inside the wall to the telephone Network Interface Device (NID). This is the box in your house or office where the telephone wire enters the building
  • A telephone wire from the NID to the telephone company's central office
  • A telephone wire from the telephone company's central office to the ISP
  • A modem at the ISP

After the connection is made to the ISP, then the actual performance on the Internet (i.e. Web browsing) is dependent on another set of components. These are:

  • How the ISP is connected to the Internet and the amount of bandwidth.
  • The capability of the ISP's routing equipment to handle a significant number of users simultaneously. GRU.net has redundant routers that are capable of supporting all of the customers that it currently serves.
  • How busy the Internet is at the time you connect. The busiest time to connect to the Internet is between 6-10 P.M. Eastern Time. If it's the peak Internet usage time when you connect, you must share resources with more GRU.net users than normal, and your speeds may be slower than normal.
  • The number of people trying to visit a Web site simultaneously, may slow connection speeds.

Connection speeds using a 56Kbps modem

A typical 56Kbps type connection (V.90) speed ranges between 42Kbps and 53Kbps. This reported connection speed is affected by any or all of the above listed components. A connection will never achieve a speed of 56Kbps because the FCC prohibits modems from operating above 53Kbps. This law applies to all ISPs, not just GRU.net. If you have any questions regarding your connection speed, please contact the Help Desk by email or by telephone at (352) 334-3100.

Note: Due to the design of the telephone system infrastructure, certain sections of Gainesville and the surrounding area aren't capable of providing 56Kbps connection speeds. The telephone system wasn't designed for data transmissions, and the telephone company isn't required to provide data service higher than 19.2Kbps. Unfortunately, GRU.Net can't do anything to improve your connection speed if this is the case.

Ways to increase your connection speed:

  • Ensure your modem is V.90 56Kbps compatible.
  • Ensure you're using the correct and latest version of the drivers for your modem.
  • Ensure that the telephone wire in your building, the wire from your modem to the wall outlet, is properly installed and isn't damaged.
  • Verify that you don't have telephone line noise. For more information on how to do this, click here. (link to article013.html)
  • In some cases, extra command settings (called initialization strings) can help improve modem tolerances or performance. If you're familiar with how to use initialization strings, you can look online for strings known to work with your modem. Otherwise, you can contact the Help Desk for assistance.

Decreased Connection Speeds or Recent Poor Performance

If you have experienced a recent slowdown in connection speed, there could be a several problems, such as equipment failure do to lightening strikes and power surges, outdated modem drivers, or improper initialization strings:

  • Lightening strikes and power surges. Your modem or telephone line might have been struck by lightning or an electrical power surge. Even with the use of a surge protector, your equipment can be damaged, especially with very close or direct strikes. If you receive error messages stating that no modem can be found on your computer, your modem has been destroyed must be replaced.
  • Outdated modem drivers. Ensure that you're using the latest set of software drivers for your modem. You can contact the modem manufacturer for more information on how to obtain firmware or driver updates. Also, many drivers for popular modems are available on the Internet. Occasionally, GRU.Net must upgrade its modem software. While we do our best to notify our customers of the change in a timely manner, some customers are affected by the change and must upgrade their modem software also.
  • Improper initialization strings. Ensure that your modem's initialization strings are not setting the modem to use 56Kflex. To verify your modem's initialization strings:
  1. Click the Start button, point to Settings, and click Control Panel.
  2. Double-clicking Modems.
  3. Click Properties, and click the Connections tab.
  4. Click Advanced.
  5. Delete any extra initialization strings present and disable K-Flex.

Figure 1: Typical modem properties and initialization strings.

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