Adelphia Cable claims a max of 3000Kbps download and 256 Kbps upload (as they state this depends on network usage). It's a shared line so if your neighbor's kid fires up multiplayer game server this will affect your speed as will other things. A dial up modem would be 56 Kbps.....big difference. Although this can signifigantly increase cable speeds it will work for dial-up too.
I've found that before I optimized my computer I was getting about 1000 Kbps on average, a far distance from the claimed 3000 Kbps. As I have found out this is caused on my end not Adelphia's. You can test you line speed here, try them all to get an average before you optimize.
http://reviews.cnet.com/Bandwidth_meter ... 4_7-0.html
And probably the best test site for NEPA since this one is in NY:
After you get an average go here and download the first program listed, TCP Optimizer. http://www.speedguide.net/downloads.php I've tested this program and as of this writing it's safe to use. No viruses or spyware. After you download it there is no installation required, simply click on it to run. You may get a warning from XP but as I said as of this writing it's safe to use.
From the menu bar select file>backup current settings. This is important that you do this first. This program makes changes to your registry, if the changes affect your computer adversely you will be able to restore it by running the restore option also found under the file menu. After you have backed up your current settings select your connection type from the top, network adapter (if applicable), and optimal settings on the bottom. Click the "Apply Changes" button on the bottom, you will now be prompted to reboot (restart) your computer.
After you reboot try the speedtests again, you should see an improvement. Please let me know your results, currently I'm consistently hitting the max or right below what Adelphia claims. this a 200% improvement, quite a bit.
More information on using this program can be found here: http://www.speedguide.net/faq_in.php?category=100