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Why does my "56K" Modem connect at speeds below 56K?

FIRST STEPS

Make sure that your modem is either 56K Flex or V.90. SkyQ Internet does not support X2 56K. If you have a X2 modem you can still connect as fast as 33.6 (V.34). Remember, V.90 is not the same as x2 or K56flex. It is a third and distinct 56K protocol.

THE EASY ANSWERS

Many modems have both a "line in" and a "line out". Disconnect any devices (telephone/answering machine) plugged into the back of the modem in the "line out". Modems are supposed to ignore all devices when in use, but unfortunately these devices can affect your connection. Try disconnecting additional telephony devices (fax machines, phones, answering machines, alarm systems, etc.) even if they're in a different room. For example, by disconnecting a fax machine some have been able to increase their connection speed by 10K. Additionally, ensure there are no surge suppressors, splitters, phone line extenders, etc between the modem and the wall. Try this even though it may seem unrelated - many problems have been solved by doing these things.

NEXT STEPS

These require slightly more computer skill - you may need to bring in a friend to help. Visit the inits and drivers page. First, be sure you have the proper driver installed. Download any drivers and/or init strings as needed. Many people's problems have disappeared once they installed a new version of the firmware. Check your modem vendor's firmware page to see if there is a more recent firmware version available.

If this is a Rockwell-based K56flex modem, issue an ATI3 command in a terminal program. If the version is 1.0 something, you should try adding S202=32 to your init string. If this is a Lucent-based K56flex modem, issue an ATI3 command in a terminal program. The firmware version should be at least 4.06, and higher versions are better.

LIMITS IMPOSED BY YOUR BUILDING'S WIRING
AND YOUR CONNECTION TO THE TELCO

Your Home
For you to get a fast connection, your phone line needs to be "clean". In fact, 56K connections usually only occur in labs with ideal conditions because 56K technology streches the limitations of twisted copper wire to its extremes. Any "noise" in the line will cause reduced connection speeds. Many buildings have inferior wiring that affects line quality. Machinery, power lines, blow dryers, etc can all affect your modem's ability to negotiate a fast connection.

Analog/Digital Conversions
In order for 56K modems to work there, can only be one A/D conversion. That conversion takes place at the Telco Central Office in you neighborhood. If there is more than one A/D conversion, then a 56K connection is impossible. Office PBX systems generally create an extra A/D conversion. If your phone has its own extension, you're on a PBX. The phone network between your location and the ISP can introduce extra A/D conversions. Non-integrated Subscriber Line Concentrators are one source.

My 56K modem should guarantee me a 33.6 connection, right?

No. Many people get 24000 - 31000, or even slower. Phone lines in some areas simply can't support higher speeds.

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