The speed depends on several factors, the phones lines to your house, the lines in the house, and the site that you are visiting of downloading from.
The phone line that your phone company is the first factor, the quality of those lines will determine what your basic capabilities are going to be.
Because the phone lines where I live have been buried for over three decades I average about 24 kbps, yet my friends with newer line are 28kbps and better.
I ran a dedicated phone line from the phone company's box to my office with Cat 5 schedule 3 which increased my average to 26.4kbps which helped a little.
The bottom line is the specific site you're visiting, this site for example is the slowest of any of the sites that I visit. It can be as "quick" as 15 to 18 seconds for a page to open, and take as long as 30 seconds and longer. There have been a couple of times where I have just given up out of frustration and quit after a full minute. Then you have to take into consideration how busy the site is and how well prepared they are to handle the load.
These are the inherent problems of a dial up connection, this is why those who can will go for a broad band connection.
Edited by dc3, 14 November 2006 - 11:20 AM.