High-speed broadband access is not a luxury anymore, but a necessity. Old-fashioned dial-up is really barely able to cope with email much less modern webpages. They simply have too much going on for dial-up to handle, with all their widgets and scripts, the interactive features, animated graphics and videos.

Unfortunately, however, the availability of broadband in the state is still very patchy. For one thing, traditional DSL over phone lines is highly dependent on the distance of the user from the central office distributing points. Furthermore, there are some areas that are essentially dead zones, such as one in Uptown where all the bandwidth available has already been grabbed by local businesses and little is left for home consumers.

This problem is not limited to DSL either. Even cable systems can slow down dramatically when everybody is using them, or massive streaming is going on. This is one of the major reasons for the debate over Net neutrality.

In any case, you may find that you need more speed than you are currently getting. Or perhaps your DSL connection has maddeningly slowed down. What to do?

First, you’ll want to find out how much speed you’re actually getting, compared to what you’re paying for. So you’ll need to run a connection speed test, using the CenturyLink Speed Test.

Before you do that, however, disconnect all Internet devices from your gateway – gaming consoles, wireless printers, VoIP phones, everything, except for one computer. Then go to the CenturyLink page, choose a server, and run the test.

That will give you the overall connection speed between the server and your location. It’s considered right on the mark if it’s within 20% less than what you’re paying for, as the “missing” speed is there, it’s just used on IP routing tables that don’t show up. A 1.5MB connection, for instance, should show at 1.2MB.

To make sure you’re still not missing out, you should also test your modem speed. Do this by:
1. Open up a web browser like Firefox or Internet Explorer.
2. In the address bar type, then hit Enter on your keyboard.
3. Select Modem status and locate the rate (Downstream/Download or Upstream/Upload).

Note that if you don’t have active landline service (such as with standalone DSL), you may have to test at different phone jacks. Make sure you have filters installed where necessary.

You may also want to check those filters to make sure they are not interfering. Click here for CenturyLink’s Filter Tutorial.

If you decide you need more speed, call us. Calling CenturyLink yourself will cause them to automatically switch you from SWCP to their own service provider without even asking. So if you would like to get faster speeds, let us deal with it for you and save you time, hassle, and expense. And any special offers from CenturyLink for reduced or even waived fees for switching will be automatically applied.

However, if your DSL connection has suddenly slowed down, however, requesting a speed change might not be effective. It likely occurred because the technology in your neighborhood is changing. Copper wires are being gradually replaced by faster fiber optic cables in many areas. Unfortunately when it happens, it will permanently degrade your DSL speed. Happily, it also means that you should now be able to get higher speeds than ever possible before.

The solution is to upgrade to LightSpeed, SWCP’s own premium broadband connection using DSL and fiber for homes and small businesses. Like other broadband services, it’s always on and available at any time, but this is faster and more reliable than other forms of DSL.

LightSpeed is not available everywhere yet, so prequalification is necessary. Also, it is a stand-alone service requiring an unused phone line. However, if one is not handy, we may be able to bring one to your location. Call or check out our website for more details and to prequalify.