Ever wondered why your PTCL DSL connection is slow or disconnects frequently? Are you paying for a promised speed, but you can barely browse websites let alone stream music or videos? Have you spent long hours trying to reach a competent assistant on the 1218 complaint line and lodge a complaint that takes days, sometimes even weeks to process? Fortunately for you, this definitive guide will help you solve all your DSL issues and have you surfing the web at blazing fast speeds*. (Depending on your package)

First of all there are a few technical things that you must know about how DSL works. A Digital Subscriber Line (originally Digital Subscriber Loop) provides internet access by transmitting data using a local telephone network, i.e. your telephone line.DSL service is delivered simultaneously with wired telephone service on the same telephone line. This is possible because DSL uses higher frequency bands for data.

The main point here being that your DSL connection is dependent on the quality of your phone line which carries the data. There is a very simple method to check the quality if you are a current PTCL subscriber. (If you already know how to access your line stats just skip to the tips section at the end).

Open your web browser and enter “” (typically the DSL modems address) into the address bar.

Here you will be prompted for a user name and password which is usually admin and admin respectively. Some newer modems have the password printed on a sticker applied on the back of the device.

Now that you have accessed your modems configuration page, navigate to the left hand side of the page, the first menu should say “Device Info” under that heading there will be “Statistics”, then click on “xDSL” (this might be “aDSL” on older modems).

Once you have opened the modem’s DSL statistics page you will be shown lots of numbers, don’t worry, the ones we are interested in here are the DownstreamSNR margin” and Downstream “Attenuation” usually measured in decibels (dB).

*Note. Please be careful as to not miss read the values as some modems show it in 0.1dB

What do these numbers mean and how do they affect your DSL connection?

Signal-to-noise Ratio (SNR margin) is defined as the ratio of signal power to the noise power, often expressed in decibels. (The higher the dB, the better for this measurement).

6dB or below is bad and will experience no connectivity or frequent disconnections
7dB – 10dB is fair but does not leave much room for variances in conditions
11dB – 20dB is good with no connectivity problems
20dB – 28dB is excellent
29dB or above is outstanding

Line attenuation is a measure of how much the signal has degraded between your ISP and the modem. This is largely a function of the distance from the exchange. (The lower the dB, the better for this measurement):

20dB and below is outstanding
20dB – 30dB is excellent
30dB – 40dB is very good
40dB – 50dB is good
50dB – 60dB is poor and may experience connectivity issues
60dB or above is bad and will definitely experience connectivity issues

After comparing your line statistics to the above mentioned levels, if they are sub-par, what can one do to improve them?

First you need to get in touch with your area’s line man. You can do this by visiting your local exchange, finding out who that person is and noting down his phone number. If you are lucky, you might find him working on the phone cabinet, usually a big green box overflowing with PTCL flyers, located nearby your residence. Once you contact your line man ask him to install a fresh copper “Drop wire” from the pole on the street to your residence.

Do Not connect it to your internal wiring just yet as that may be the cause of your woes. Take the main drop wire from the pole to where you want the modem to be placed and ask him to install a splitter. One connection should go straight into your modem and the other connection can be re-looped into your home’s internal wiring system for regular phone use.

This is the most you can do at your end; the rest is up to the exchange and the pairing of your phone line. Speak with the SDO at your local exchange and ask him to shift your line onto “fiber” and provide you with a fresh pair.

After completing all these steps, your line stats should be excellent and frequent disconnection issues should be a thing of the past. Get the most out of your DSL connection and unlock the vast capabilities of the internet!