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V.90 Information
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V.90 Information

What is V.90?

V.90 is the 56k standard for modems. Before V.90, there were 2 competing technologies (k56flex and x2) that were incompatible with each other. The problem occurred when Internet Service Providers (ISP) and users had different modem technologies -- someone with x2 could not get 56k connection by calling a k56flex ISP and vice versa. Most ISPs could not afford to support both technologies. Finally, in 1998, the modem industry decided on a standard from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Now, modem manufactures provide V.90 compliant modems and upgrades for existing 56k modem so that all 56k modems can talk the same way.

About 56K Speed:

Although 56k/V.90 modems are theoretically able to receive information at 56 kilobits per second, current Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations limit this to a maximum 53.3 kb/s. In addition, this speed is only download speed -- the maximum upload speed is limited to 31.6 kb/s.

In addition to the FCC limitation, many other factors can affect your actual connection rates:

  • Additional phone services like call waiting and caller ID.
  • Some users in rural areas may have poor quality lines.
  • Quality of phone line installation or physical quality of wires supplied by the phone company.
  • For offices, 56k requires only one analog-to-digital conversion -- which means if your office lines go through an internal switch. You will need a direct connection.
  • Fax machines or fax software or anything that constantly monitors the phone line. Stuff like this makes it difficult to connect regardless of connection speed.

Upgrade Links:

US Robotics/3Com Modems
Boca Research V.90 Upgrade Wizard
Diamond Multimedia

Upgrade list from

The above links have been provided to help users with the most common types of modems find the appropriate upgrade site. AlaNet does not endorse the above modem companies or provide technical support for any of these modems.

Related Links
56k Central (USR/3Com)

Copyright 1999, AlaNet Internet Services, Inc.
All rights reserved.

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