|What do you mean that's the max the line in your area can handle?|
Depends on the Type of DSLAM installed in the local exchange, DSL, DSL2 or DSL2+.
DSL2 takes it up to a max of 8Mbs, DSL2+ up to a max of 24 Mgbs. So the max you can get is dependant on what the telephone company has installed. What they are prepared to spend in relation to the customer base at any particular location.
Fibre Optic can take the speed up to 100 Mgbs depending on the provider. But you have to be in an area that is serviced by a suitable provider.
However recommending BT so someone that might live in California is a bit pointless.