How to reduce line attenuation for dsl

Updated April 17, 2017

Attenuation is the weakening or minimising of power in terms of intensity. It is also the name of a common problem experienced by DSL users. Attenuation of the line occurs when noise and interference enters the DSL transmission and weakens the strength of the connection, slowing the speed of your broadband connection. You can perform a few checks and modifications to reduce the line attenuation in your DSL connection to drastically improve the speed and quality of your Internet connection.

Change the network and connection cables running from your cable to your modem. If this fixes the problem, the difficulty is somewhere between your computer and the modem hardware.

Switch the cables running from your modem to the main source of power in the building you are in. Problems in the structural wiring can cause interference in your Internet connection and confuse the wires.

Find the phone jack where your modem connects to the phone line in your building. Make sure you are checking the jack used for your connection or the problem will not be resolved.

Check that the phone line is connected to a DSL/POT splitter before entering the phone jack. These splitters are small plastic boxes that separate the signals containing data and voice coming through the line.

Push the splitter in fully if there is one or replace it with a new, working one. If you don't find a splitter in the jack, insert one before the phone line to reduce line attenuation.


Contact your service provider for a check of your DSL to ensure the problem is not actually being caused by something else.


Never use cables where the internal wires are visible; they are dangerous and can harm you and your hardware.

Things You'll Need

  • Cables
  • DSL/POT splitter
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About the Author

Based in West Windsor, N.J., Sarah Silverman has been writing computer- and electronics-related articles since 1990. Her articles have appeared in “Wired” and “Ericsson” magazines. She received the Kim Swiss Award in 2006. Silverman holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Rochester in New York.