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The On Ramp

The Blue Mountain Internet Customer Newsletter

 Issue # 68 June 2009 
  • Greetings from the Edi...
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  • FAQ
    by Matt Stephens
    June 2009

    Hello to everyone again! How has your spring been? Ours has been wet, windy and mostly cold. Pretty much like our winter was, only not as cold. I've actually been able to wear shorts from time to time and I was also able to pull off two bar-b-ques so far. Not bad considering (as of this writing) it's the middle of May!

    Anyway, with all the rain, and wind and heating and cooling that spring and early summer present, we get a significant increase in calls about connectivity issues. People with dialup, and DSL are having increased problems connecting and staying connected. Well, I hate to say it, but the most common cause for frequent disconnects is line noise. Wait...wait...where are you going? Don't roll your eyes and move on. I have more, and I have help.

    First, there are a whole bunch of different causes of line noise on your phone lines. The most common of those are: " Dampness and moisture" in the phone lines themselves - The Weather! But other causes are:

     -  Old, or low quality phone lines
     - Cordless phones (on the same line) may cause some interference
     - Phone cords longer than 12 feet
     - Phone cords that get stepped on or crimped in doors, under or behind furniture, or across doorways
     - Phone cords that are wound or coiled in a bundle can act like an antenna causing static on the lines
     - Phone cords next to power supplies, radios, speakers, or other sources of electrical interference
     - Splitters and phone line surge protectors can add to line noise.

    Keep in mind that there are times when line noise is worse than other times. Like in the spring, early summer and fall. Because of the temperature differences from day to night, and one day to next day for that matter. And all the moisture in the air. Not to mention all the abuse the lines receive during all seasons. One thing to note in this is that some line noise is beyond the range of human hearing. Just because you can't hear it, doesn't mean you don't have it.

    Other than the first two of the above issues, you should be able to check your situation to make sure that you don't have any issues from the above.

    (But what about the first two? How do you check for that? I THOUGHT YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO HELP US MATT!!! Hold on there tiger, I'm not done yet.)

    There is a test you can run to find out if you have line noise. Once you run the test, if you find you have line noise you can call your local telephone provider and let them know that you have tested the lines and see if they will be able to repair them for you. The test does vary a little depending on the kind of modem you have in your computer. To find out, follow these instructions:
    Click on start
    Click on Control Panel
    Double click on Phone and Modem Options
    Click on the modem tab

    You will see in here what kind of modem you have. Now just go to the following website, and print out the instructions for your specific modem. Line Noise Modem Help

    Don't see your modem? Go to google and type line noise test followed by your specific modem and search. You will find very similar instructions on another website.

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    The On Ramp is a monthly publication of Blue Mountain Internet.

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