MB was on the right track with the maxing out of the modem ,, although,, I was under the teaching that 119500 was ok to set it too as well as that would be the "ceiling" of the connection , leaving it wide open to that point,, however, as we know you will never connect with dialup at that speed ,, as we know it,, it allows for a lot of "headroom"
That setting is for how fast the com port talks to the modem. The faster you set it the more chance for errors. It's like talking real fast to somebody. They might not catch everything your saying. Set it at 57600 for a more reliable and stable connection. Also it might be the modem itself. Some modems just run better than others. If you using a winmodem (controlerless) get rid of it. These modems are based on software and usually don't run as expected. If your going to stick with dialup, go for the best modem on the market. I would suggest the US Robotics 56k sportster or the 56k PCI PRO both are controler based (the modem does all the work) good reliable modems. But you problem sound like it might be in your phone lines. I was in your situation. The guy next door to me was getting better speed than me. Turned out it was a problem with the switching box mounted to my house.