In case anyone can offer some input...

A but over a month ago I started having random DSL connection drops. They were happening between midnight and six AM so I assumed it was ISP related. 2 weeks ago it began doing this throughout the day. It will lose the internet suddenly then reconnect within a minute. It stopped for about 4 days last week but began doing it Friday when I finally called my ISP. They want me to check everything before they can look into it. So far I replaced the ethernet cable, the phone line cable from the splitter box to the modem, and even opened the splitter and cleaned inside, scrubbing the exposed wires. I'm still getting drops. My next step would be to check the outside phone line box, and possibly run a new line into the house with a new phone jack box in the computer room. If that fails then they may have to give me a new modem("give" being the questionable word- I don't know if they'll replace for free or charge me). If THAT fails... then it's their end.

No idea if this is affecting anyone else locally as the only nearby person with internet has a different provider. My upload speeds have also been poor- as low as 15 kilobytes/second when I'm used to 60-80. Actually, it fluctuates. I've hit up to the 60/s range at times but web uploads- especially gmail attachments- take forever.

My Netopia on-board modem diagnostics all pass and even its tests say the line strength is good. The logs even suggest, to me, this is an ISP connection issue. The modem is at least 6 years old(Netopia 2241N) and does get hot. Unplugging for 30 seconds sometimes helps if it can't reconnect after the usual minute downtime but that's only been necessary since yesterday's drops.

Don't think this is a PC issue- run 3 separate malware programs and they all say I'm clean and I've installed very little lately- the only major change was a new DVD-RW drive and I doubt that's causing this. It also seems like this began before I installed that. It's also dropping outside internet, not the PC connection to the modem. I can run the on-board system tools even when the net has dropped so the ethernet is okay. I don't run a router, don't need one as all I have online is the PC.

This is a problem for me. If I sell something and have no online access to messages I can't get their mailing address. I need a stable net connection to play MapleStory because even a quick drop breaks connection and closes the client. It's also not the level of service I'm paying for and not what I've had for 6 years. Used to be I'd get maybe a 10-15 minute outage every 1-2 months, not it's a 1-minute outage multiple times a day. It's also random- I ran between 3:30 PM yesterday and 1 PM today with no outages. If the net totally goes out I'm in a bad spot.

So my main thoughts are...

1) something with the outside phone box or outside line cable(insulation?) I haven't found yet
2) modem is starting to die
3) ISP's line are messed up and they need to fix it- should ask if others have had similar issues with them lately
4) my ISP has finally sold to so many DSL customers that it's affecting performance