From my web site:

Connect speed is directly related to the distance between your modem and your local telephone central office. The telephone cable pair, due to its makeup, is a capacitor. Analog data is an analog signal (between 200 and 4000 Hz) and capacitance opposes any rapidly changing direction of current or change in voltage. By its nature, capacitance holds down analog data and attenuates (drops) the signal power level. This drop in power level will cause the modem handshake to negotiate a slower speed to prevent errors. Therefore, the greater the distance, the more capacitance, the greater the signal loss, the slower the connect speed will be. It's just plain physics. The makeup of the telephone cable pair is dependent on several factors. Gauge, length, bridge tap, end section, loading, pair gain devices (SLC-96, Series-5, DISC*S), range extenders (MFT, REG units), even the type of central office switch. This distance I am talking about is the distance between your modem and the central office or the Remote Terminal in a Pair Gain system. Even the number of analog to digital conversions will affect the speed.


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