DSL quality

I am investigating DSL as a broadband solution for a small business. The outer limit is 18K feet from a central office, and the estimate for this location is 15,900 ft. Verizon says they can do it, and under otherwise good conditions the distance itself would not degrade the service; they said I should expect a 768kbs connection (the have tiered pricing, that’s the lowest tier). However, a friend told me that when you’re that far out, the speed degrades and I’d experience an actual rate of maybe 144kbs.

Is Verizon right? Or does service degrade as you get farther from a CO?

I have DSL and can’t answer your question. But I’ll bet the folks at www.dslreports.com can.

Verizon is correct–well, mostly. The signal doesn’t begin to degrade appreciably until fairly close to the limiting distance. At my previous job we had DSL and our location was approximately 17,500 feet from the CO. We got transfer rates in the neighborhood of 650 kbps. You’ll never get the full rated 768 kbps, however, because the lines are never perfect, especially the wiring within your location. At home, I get about 570 kbps, though I’m not sure of the distance to my CO.

Service degrades the farther from the CO you are. The Verizon people are selling you only the potential of the line under ideal conditions. Below is an actual e-mail (or at least the relevant piece) from SBC I erceived that shows what happens:

At 15,000+ feet I think you will be severely limited. To my recollection 15,000 used to be the maximum but they may have imrpoved things a bit out to 18,000 feet it would seem. Note the two speeds listed as well. The first one is down to your computer and the second speed is up (back to the internet). For regular surfing this may be fine but for some uses it can be a problem. You would want to seek out SDSL for speeds that are equal in both directions (generally costs more).

It does degrade over a long distance, but when this happens, and if there is enough demand for DSL in the area, they will install a repeater. Which will boost a weak signal.