Does Internet Speed Vary by Season?

Scott Morris swm at
Wed Oct 7 18:22:31 UTC 2009

I may be having my wires a little crossed (I'm not an electrical
engineer) but I was always under the impression that manipulation of the
physical characteristics like that from heat/dampness didn't reduce the
"speed" but the "quality" (like line noise/errors/etc) of the line.

Whether old telco lines or newer data lines it's all about electrical
signal and bit error rates.  More errors = more retransmissions = slower
perceived throughput.

Just my thinking.


Joe Greco wrote:
> It used to be that we would notice this, except that it had everything to
> do with temperature *and* dampness.  In the '90's, it was still quite
> common for a lot of older outside plant to be really only "voice grade"
> and it wasn't unusual for copper to run all the way back to the CO,
> through a variety of taps and splice points.  Even though Ma Bell would
> typically do a careful job handling their copper, the sheer number of
> potential points of failure meant that it wasn't unusual for water to
> infiltrate and penetrate.  If I recall correctly, the worst was usually
> a long, hard cold rain (hey we're in Wisconsin) after which people who
> had been getting solidly high speed modem connects would see a somewhat
> slower speed.
> ... JG

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