Modem FAQ

If you are having any problems call us at (724) 295-1970. We would be very happy to assist you. If you would like to try to resolve any issues yourself, please find a listing of common problems below.

Why does it take longer to connect using Windows 98 ?

Uncheck your logon to network box under dialup networking. For some unknown reason Windows 98 continues to look for a Windows NT machine when this box is checked. There are no NT machines on our network for dialup use. Unchecking this box will allow you to get on the Internet immediately after verifying your username and password.

What if I get connected but keep getting disconnected ?

There are two reasons for a disconnect.

1 One possible reason is that you have passed the idle-timeout or session-limit for your login. This event is rare but possible. You can always log right back in and keep going. The current idle-timeout is 20 minutes with a session-limit of 6 hours. These timers were put in place to satisfy over 95% of our users and ensure that modems are available for all to use. The service was designed for active use.

2 The primary reason for disconnects is your modem dropping carrier. Our system listens for a carrier tone to make sure you are still connected. When the carrier tone disappears this means that your modem has stopped talking to our system or that you have hung up the line. This is a common occurance with win (software) modems. Often, changing your modem init string will remedy this problem. This information can often be found on your modem manufacturers home page.

How do I stay connected ?

If the above solutions do not work, we strongly recommend upgrading to a 3Com v.90 hardware modem (not a win modem). They can be purchased in most computer stores or you can have one of our techs install the modem for $70 ($50 for the modem, $20 for installation). Upgrading to a good modem fixes virtually all disconnect issues.

Why can't my modem connect at 56k ?

Many modem manufacturers are claiming that their modems are capable of 56k connect rates. This may be true under perfect conditions, however typically the quality of the phone lines are less than ideal. Typical connect rates for good modems to our digital network are in the range of 48K to 52K. The FCC currently limits connect rates to 53k so modems will not interfere with your current phone operations.

What if my modem doesn't connect between 48K to 52K ?

You probably want to start asking your local phone company some basic questions. They should be able to look at your phone number and determine if your lines are capable of 56k speeds.

Bell Atlantic's official position is that they only guarantee 9.6k on their lines.

North Pittsburgh Telephone has been more generous with their connect rates. They have in the past made claims that they support 28.8k speeds in most areas.

What if my phone company says my lines are ok and I still have trouble ?

Start with your modem manufacturer and make sure you have the latest modem driver for your modem. Most drivers can be downloaded from the manufacturer's website. If your computer is under warranty and still has free technical support you may want to take advantage of this service and have a representative assist you with the download and install of the new driver.

How do I get high connect speeds 64k and above ?

To get higher connect speeds above the 48k to 52k range you will need to move up to a digital service. Single channel ISDN will always give you a 64k connection to the Internet. Dual channel ISDN will allow you to get connected at 128k.

North Pittsburgh is offering a great price on personal ISDN service. You should call them for details. We recommend connecting ISDN to a 3Com ISDN router with a NT1 device. This will allow you to talk on the line at the same time you keep a 64k Internet connection. The price for this service is actually better than or comparable to 2 analog lines with increased Internet performance.

Salsgiver, Inc. has rolled out xDSL service in North Pittsburgh Telephone and hopefully be expanding DSL service into Bell Atlantic when their coverage area expands.

There are additional charges for bandwidth above 64k connections so you may want to give us a call at (724) 295-1970 before upgrading. We would be happy to discuss connect options with you.