D5 & Pdox - networking glitches - using cental BDE

I have set up a school system for networking basically via the instructions
in the paper "Sharing the BDE on a Network" by Bill Todd.

In a 'labratory' (LAN - fast) setup, this seems to work well.

In actual school networks (WAN) it's not doing so well - apparently
randomly users get "Table is Busy tblName" messages or 'tblName: cannot
perform this operation on a closed dataset". I just have a LAN and don't
simulate the problem very well - it's a 'labratory' setting.

This weekend I was able to simulate this problem on a friends network, where
he used a dialin connection for one of the PCs - to slow down the
connection.

With this configuration, I tried a read-intensive operation on the
slow-connect PC(1st workstation). It seemed to get hung up, & while it was
working, attempting anything on another workstation(2nd workstation) caused
the error messages. The communications status screen showed that it was
doing writes at about three times the byte rate of reads. Stopping the
first(slow) workstation and the 2nd workstation immediately worked.

We then cranked up a 3rd pc(fast connection) & tried the same operation on
it as the one that failed(on the slow connect pc). This operation on the 3rd
pc worked fine, while the 2nd pc continued to work as well.

Are there some additional timing sensitive parameters which should be
tweaked somewhere?

Is central Bde/Paradox a limiting factor here?  (Users have complained about
it's being slow to 'boot')

Would local BDE & application help performance enough to eliminate the
problem?  I'll admit I thought the central .Exe/Bde setup was better
administratively, having heard a horror story about difficulties of making
updates for the distributed case.

Murray