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Frequently Asked Questions

56K MODEM FAQ

What are the benefits of 56K?
What do I need to do to access the Internet at 56K?
Aren't all 56K modems the same?
I've had problems connecting at 28.8K/33.6K with my current modem. Will I achieve a "true" 56K connection?
Is a modem useful if the highest speed is offered in only one direction?
What if I purchased a U.S. Robotics X2 modem?

Q. What are the benefits of 56K?
A. Speed is the primary benefit. You can access the Internet at a higher speed than with your old 28.8/33.6K modem. A second benefit is the cost of 56K modems, which is almost the same as 28.8/33.6K modems. Another benefit is the availability of 56K modem access.

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Q. What do I need to do to access the Internet at 56K?
A. The only thing you need is a modem that support the v.90 56K protocol or the new v.92 56k protocol.

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Q. Aren't all 56K modems the same?
A. No. There are, unfortunately, two major, non-compatible 56K modem standards. Rockwell, Lucent, and a few other companies combined to promote the K56flex protocol, while U.S. Robotics (now 3Com) has pushed its x2 protocol. The problem is that x2 technology can only connect to x2 technology, and K56flex can only connect to K56flex. There is also v.90, which is the official 56K standard. At BlueOne, we support v.90 and in some areas, the new v.92 protocol.

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Q. I've had problems connecting at 28.8K/33.6K with my current modem. Will I achieve a "true" 56Kconnection?
A. Unfortunately, no. 56K is not a guaranteed rate. Rather, it is the maximum speed that you may approach. Actual connect speed is dictated by line and signal quality. The better the signal that a modem can put over the line, the faster the connect speed will be. We have found that the average connection rate of 56K modems is in the high-40s.

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Q. Is a modem useful if the highest speed is offered in only one direction?
A. Traditional Internet access is a highly asymmetrical process in that most data flows from the Internet to the end user (downstream) in the form of graphics or files. Most communications from the end user to the Internet (upstream) are button clicks or address entries. 56K is therefore ideal for Internet connections.

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Q. What if I purchased a U.S. Robotics X2 modem?
A. Your modem is upgradeable to the v.90 56K standard. Simply contact USRobotics or the computer manufacturer who sold it to you for upgrade instructions.

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