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Before You Get that 2nd Phone Line....

As your use of the Internet increases and becomes more important you, or perhaps for other reasons, you may decide to add a new phone line primarily for Internet Access. Before you do - READ THIS!

56k Connectivity Before & After:
Before you add a new phone line, check your existing line to see if you get 56k connections.  Here are the possibilities resulting from adding a new phone line:

You get 56k on present line & add a new line
1. Both lines permit 56k connects.
2. The old line still gets 56k, the new line doesn't
3. Neither line gets 56k connects
4. The new line gets 56k, the old line doesn't
No 56k on present line & add a new line
1. Neither line gets 56k connects.
2. The new line gets 56k connects, old line doesn't
3. Both lines get 56k connects
4. Old line gets 56k connects, new line doesn't

While I've listed the possible outcomes in order of probability, there's no easy way to know which outcome will be yours. If you cannot get 56k on your present line, you've got little to lose by adding another line (although the most likely outcome will be that you have 2 lines that can't get 56k connects). However, if you are getting 56k connects on your existing line, there's a chance that the new line - and/or the old line - will not get 56k any more 56k connects.

If you plan on using the new line for Internet access, you might be disappointed if the new line doesn't get 56k but the old line does! Your 56k connectivity will depend upon the facilities the phone company uses to provide you with the added service. Normally, the phone company won't tell you what kind of facilities it uses or will use - and there's nothing to stop the phone company from changing the facilities (and your 56k-connectivity) that serve you even without an order from you to add another line. 

What kills 56k? See - What's a 56k-compatible line?

Suggestions of you get 56k on your existing line:
When you order the 2nd line, ask what kind of facilities will be used to provide the second line, and if any changes will be made to your existing line (however, it's unlikely that the order taker will be able to answer this question).

You could request that the new line be physically provided on the facilities used for your existing line, and the existing line be moved to what would otherwise be used for the new line. (This means that the jacks inside your house will become jacks for the new line, and the existing line will need to be re-wired.) As long as the facilities used to provide the existing line aren't changed, you can be pretty sure the new line will get 56k connects. 

Make sure that you are present when the new line is installed, and ask the installer about what he's going to do before he starts! If he's going to give you the new line by adding 'pair gain' - a box that will make your existing 2 wire-line into two 2-wire lines - cancel the order (unless you are willing to have 2 lines neither of which will get more than 26.4k connects)! Be prepared to test both the old and new lines for 56k connectivity as soon as the installer is done, and delay his departure until you've completed your test. The best time to correct a change in connectivity is during, or before, the installation!

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