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Connection Issues

First of all you may want to read our Modem support Frequently Asked Questions.

There are 4 major ways we attempt to deal with modem slow connection / disconnection / not able to connect issues.

  1. Update of modem drivers.
  2. Initialization strings to control connect speeds and features.
  3. Get you (the customer) to contact the Phone company about line problems.
  4. Replacement of the modem.
1. Update modem drivers:
Most modems are shipped with a factory set of drivers. If you are lucky you have an intermediate set. We have seen 1 week old machines with 2 year old modem drivers. This process involves identifying your modem, and getting the latest drivers from the manufacturer (if available.). Some modems connect better than others, period. Many times on less capable modem chipsets (such as PcTel, Cirrus Logic, ESS, and Motorola, to name a few) simply do not connect well in the Rural telephone environment of Southern Middle Tennessee. Then we have to proceed to step 2.

2. Initialization strings to control connect speeds and features:
Often, a slower speed produces a higher effective connection rate because it is more stable. You don't get disconnected as much, and the modem itself does not spend as much time trying to adjust to the line changes. We have a comprehensive list of modem initialization strings to add to your modem, to attempt to stabilize things. Please note that some modem brands can not have their speeds and features adjusted as well as others, and we may have to try several times to get things 'just right'. Also, if you happen to look the information up yourself, setting your modem for a minimum connect speed higher than what you usually connect at generally just creates a situation where your modem will not connect at all. We often have a great deal of success with connect strings enabling consistent ability to connect.

3. Get you (the customer) to contact the Phone company about line problems:
Most phone companies do not consider themselves in the business of providing high grade data quality analog phone lines to residential customers. Unless your problem is obvious (a phone line can sound crystal clear and still have problems preventing a modem from connecting to us), and sometimes even if it is (I have had reports of customers yelling through static filled lines to have a representative tell them it sounds clear to them), the phone company often takes a great deal of bothering to get any action taken on it. If you connect, but your connection is slow, or unstable, you are often in worse shape than if you simply are unable to connect at all. Please note that we cannot contact your phone company for your connection problems. They refuse to discuss the issue with us because we are not their customer.

4. Replacement of the modem:
Valley Internet can replace your modem with a high quality Lucent Chipset internal modems for $52.00. Sometimes this is the only decent option. Occasionally, we find modems that either we cannot identify (to attempt to update / enter strings into) or that seem to have a genuine problem (for example, refusing to connect from our office, where we often receive high 40k speed connects). For some customers, replacing the modem, if it fixes their problems, is preferable to many weeks wrangling with the phone company.