A number of sources, including Verizon West Coast Media Relations Manager Jarryd Gonzales and Verizon technical support, confirmed that Verizon could now provide higher speed DSL (digital data transfer over telephone lines) to Idyllwild customers with existing Verizon DSL accounts.
Gonzales acknowledged that Verizon recently doubled processing capacity at the Idyllwild central office. Verizon has not widely publicized availability of this new upgraded DSL for Hill customers. Speeds of up to 15 megabits per second (mbps) are now available for some customers because of the March upgrade in Idyllwild.
Although higher speed DSL is now available, the quality of the phone line at a residence can affect the speed of digital data transfer, even after central office infrastructure capacity has been increased. Neighborhoods and homes with better copper wiring can achieve somewhat faster DSL speeds. Conversely, those lacking or with poorer copper wiring experience lesser data transfer speeds.
Distance from the phone company’s hub or central office can cause signal deterioration. DSL technology is “distance sensitive.” Speed of data transmission decreases significantly the greater the distance from the central office. This is an especially important factor. Verizon technical support was able to confirm a 15 mbps speed at one residential address closer to the central office and only 3 mbps at another farther away. Distance was the cause of the slower signal, according to Verizon technical support. Finally, technical glitches within the service provider network at any particular time can affect transmission speed. These factors are ones about which the average residential customer can do little.
Other factors that affect DSL speed over which a customer may have more control include: spyware on the customer’s computer; malfunctioning or incorrectly configured wired or wireless customer routers; and older customer computers lacking sufficient processing power or memory.
In the U.S., the median download speed for telephone-provided Internet is 2.3 mbps. In Japan that capacity is 30 times greater or more than 60 mbps. With the upgrade to the Idyllwild Verizon central office, Verizon customer Gregg Williams confirmed he had received download speeds of 15 mbps. He said it took a number of conversations with Verizon but that he was able, after some persistence, to get the desired upgrade. Williams said that although speed occasionally dipped, he had received the maximum speed available. Verizon technical support verified the available top speed at Williams’ address.
“In early 2012, I heard that Verizon was finally making the necessary [capacity] upgrades to the DSL equipment and [in March] I was finally able to upgrade to a higher speed of DSL, 15 mbps,” said Williams. “The issue of the lines dropping in speed has not gone away however. The speed can drop from 15 mbps to close to 0 intermittently still, but that may now be something that the repair department can resolve.”
On its website, Verizon advertises high speed “enhanced” DSL in the 92549 area with download speeds from 7.1 to 15 mbps with one price for those who already have a Verizon home phone and a higher monthly price for those currently without a Verizon home phone.
Check with Verizon to verify whether in fact upgraded DSL is available to new Verizon customers or only current customers. Be advised, based on the experience of this reporter in trying to get higher DLS speed at his residence, that the process is not easy, and Williams’ description of many phone calls and inquiries to Verizon before he achieved his desired DSL speed, is accurate.
Other DSL providers include Time Warner Cable and Green Café Internet. Time Warner advertises availability for 15 mbps for a premium price. Satellite provider DirecTV stated that it can’t bundle DSL through any provider in area code 92549.