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Posted - 11/7/2002 2:03:00 PM  Show Profile  Email Poster  Edit Message
I've solved the mystery. Unfortunately nothing can be done about my slow connection speed.

Qwest (formerly US West), my local phone service provider installed terminal blocks on our building called a UDC/pair-gain (Universal Digital Channel) which is used when Qwest is out of phone lines. It allows Qwest to connect two phones each with its own phone number to a single telephone line. A UDC is basically a digitizer that takes a single analog POTS line and converts it into two digital 32Kbps ADPCM lines for delivery to the customer. Hence a lower modem speed for the customer.

This also makes sense when you talk about more than 1 A/D conversion on the line as the UDC does just this. As a result of the installation of the UDC I am limited to a maximum dial-up speed of 26.4Kbps. To make matters even worse, the UDC is completely ncompatible with DSL service, which requires a "clean copper pair." Even if I was within the range of the nearest CO for DSL service I could not get it as I do not have a clean copper pair.

Qwest, in their infinite wisdom, have made an edict, a mandate, that since they cannot charge the customer to remove a UDC by tariff, they will not under any circumstance, remove a UDC in favor of a "clean copper pair". Those of you (like me) are stuck like this. Also, if you are currently using dial-up and are thinking of getting a second phone line while waiting for DSL service to be brought to your area - DON'T. If you have Qwest (and the Bells are known to do this too) and order a second line they will install a UDC terminal instead of laying down a second line. By simply canceling the 2nd line, Qwest will simply turn it off, not bothering to physically come out and remove the UDC. It still leaves the first line's bandwidth cut in half. They say it simply costs too much to send out a technician to do it. Even complaining to the Public Utility Commissioner (PUC) or FCC does no good. They only care that the customer has "dial-tone". How it's provided doesn't matter at all.

Make this public! Let this be known! Qwest screws over their customers! DSL is not available in my area (thanks Qwest) and neither is cable broadband (thanks AT&T). I'm sure the other 80,000 people in my area that don't have this service are just as pissed as me! If only they new the truth...Qwest then hurts you one more time with the UDC. Sure, you can buy 56K dial-up internet service through Qwest on They love to sell the speed. Just don't plan on getting anything over 26.4Kbps if Qwest decided to take a short cut and save money.

Pretty nice thinking that someone else in my building is using the other half of my line (and other half of my bandwidth). I wonder if they even care.


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