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Looking for the Cable Guy – House re-wiring for faster internet

By ramblingted - 17 January 2011 18

As part of my NY resolution to improve my internet performance, I’m looking at getting my house wiring re-run by a licensed cabler.  (Yes, I know there are 6ooo other possible issues, but I’m looking at this issue first, as house is 35+ years old and I think has original wiring).

Can anyone recommend someone in Canberra who has done similar work for them?

What’s Your opinion?


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18 Responses to
Looking for the Cable Guy – House re-wiring for faster internet
FoMoCo 9:20 pm 17 Jan 11

Just a bit of an FYI, unless you have at least a restricted cabling registration you are not allowed to touch any phone cabling in your house. And prior to the network boundary you need to be contracted by the carrier to do any works. Getting a new cable run from the exchange is pretty much out of the question.

And no wiring is awesome, no way I would get 60MB a sec transfer speeds over wifi! Yes that is between my server and desktop. But wifi is plenty enough for a few users surfing the net..

ramblingted 7:04 pm 17 Jan 11

Rangi said :

Get a central filter installed…SJV Telephone Extensions Electrical Contractors (look in yellow pages) does good reasonable priced work, and seems to know what he is talking about.

See post #6- I already have a splitter

Rangi 3:22 pm 17 Jan 11

Get a central filter installed…SJV Telephone Extensions Electrical Contractors (look in yellow pages) does good reasonable priced work, and seems to know what he is talking about.

cmdwedge 3:12 pm 17 Jan 11

I have a guy I use for all of my cable work. He’s a perfectionist, and pricewise, unbeatable. After he installed a central splitter in my ~37 year old house, I went from 5.5mbit to 8mbit (and since then up to about 8.5mbit).

My email is my username @gmail.com. I’m not posting his details here, because he’s doing more work for me next week and I don’t want him booked out! 🙂

Deano 1:57 pm 17 Jan 11

Unfortunately, straight-line distance isn’t a good indicator of ADSL speed. Phone cables branch off main distribution cables and snake their way around the suburbs.

The heat map at adsl2exchanges will help you determine what speed you should be getting in your neighbourhood:

http://www.adsl2exchanges.com.au/heatmap-state.php?State=ACT

There is a much better one but I can’t find it at the moment.

banjo 1:20 pm 17 Jan 11

I’m 4km’s from our Exchange and 5mbps is the fastest (stable) connection I can achieve, house is 25 years old.

I would try and work out based on your line attenuation actually how far the copper is running back to the exchange because you might be on par for the actual distance.

Also ask your neighbors to see what they are syncing at, get a consensus for the area.

Jamika 12:12 pm 17 Jan 11

If you look in the phonebook, you’ll find specialist internet cable installers. Check with ACMA first though, because there are a lot of shonky operators out there.

In any case, you might consider having a dedicated internet line. I didn’t know this was an option until the cable guy who came to run another line to the house. My flatmate had an Optus line that Telstra disconnected when they originally tried to activate my adsl2 ‘naked’ service (naked meaning using adsl2 over existing infrastructure, regardless if a current phone line is active). In any case, the cable guy came to run in another line from the street. He then gave me the option of using this as a dedicated data line, which i agreed. Since that time, I have been getting consistent 17-20 Mbps 3km from the exchange. The only downside is that running another line from the street will cost you around $300 (maybe more). I could be wrong about this, as there are a number of variables to consider (modem, ISP, internet plans, wireless protocols, etc). I’m no expert by any measure, so I’m not sure these speeds are 100% attributable to a dedicated line, but my experience so far has been a positive one. Good luck with your NYR.

ramblingted 11:47 am 17 Jan 11

Grrr…thanks, but that speed was from the modem test.

Grrrr 11:25 am 17 Jan 11

ted – speedtest results aren’t a great indicator. Log on to your modem/router’s web interface and find the sync speed. You should be getting 4-5mbit at 52dB / 3.5km.

ramblingted 11:10 am 17 Jan 11

Current download speed test results are 1.3 MB. As it looks like I’m about 3.3km cable distance from the Manuka exchange my DS line attenuation (52) is probably only a bit higher than I would have expected, but i would be hoping to get something more towards 5MB. I intend going to talk to Internode once i’ve checked out some of these other issues.

As I’m not very handy, and there are a number of potentially complicating factors (Foxtel, central alarm splitter, cordless phone) that’s why I’m looking for expert help. Probably an isolation test is the first thing I should get done.

Wireless…hmmm, well, the number of times our wireless link fails or goes slow as a result of neighbourhood networks coming on makes me glad I’ve got the cable as backup (yes, even after trying to move network frequency around to avoid overlap).

Holden Caulfield 10:43 am 17 Jan 11

I currently get about 5Mbps on my “up to 24Mbps” plan. But as I must be 2km minimum from the Civic exchange (as the crow flies) and my house is 50+ years old I figure that’s probably my lot.

If I can or should expect better speeds than that I’d love to hear some theories.

Grrrr 10:23 am 17 Jan 11

trix – you’ve got it mixed up. ramblingted is looking refresh the phone wiring in his house – IE the wiring between his modem and the exchange – in the hope that it’s poor wiring and he will get a faster sync speed as a result.

The speed from his modem to his PC is not the issue, wireless or wired.

ramblingted – if you’re a tiny bit handy, you (or a cabler) could connect the modem into the phone wires where they meet the house (well, at the first join in the wire.) Perhaps disconnect the rest of the house at the same time. IE, you effectively remove all house wiring from the equation. Compare sync speeds to when the modem is in it’s usual phone outlet around your house. If there’s no difference, then don’t bother re-wiring the place.

Or, you could do the following (which is less accurate): Check your modem for the line stats. Find your Downstream Attenuation (it’ll be a number in dB from 0 to maybe as high as 60.) Call your ISP and ask them nicely to find your line length in LOLO and tell it to you. If the attenuation divided by 14 is much higher than the kilometres of line length, then you might get a noticable speed improvement.

EG 42db attenuation for 3000m of line = normal. So, 50dB would indicate higher-than usual loss – perhaps in your house, but probably in the street.

D2 10:13 am 17 Jan 11

I agree with Trix. Wiring is sooooo last century.

trix 9:35 am 17 Jan 11

Any crappy wireless router is going to be faster than any Internet speed. If you’re a few hundred metres from the exchange, you can get up to 24Mbps. With an 802.11n wireless router, you get a theoretical speed of 270-320Mbps. Sure, it’s slower than a cabled LAN, but if your main purpose is to get stuff off the Internet, cabling is a waste of time and money.

Spectra 9:15 am 17 Jan 11

Kaz electronics do good work on TV antenna installations – I would imagine their data wiring services are up to the same standard.

I really would look at other (cheaper, more diagnosable) causes first, though. If you’re using ADSL and you think you’re not getting the speeds you should at your distance from the exchange, keep in mind that your house’s wiring is probably a bit newer than the copper from your house to the exchange, and that the latter probably comprises ~99% of the wire over which the signal travels (as well as being mostly outside, so more prone to degradation due to environmental factors). Upgrading the last 1% is unlikely to improve anything unless there’s actually a serious connection problem in it somewhere.

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