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.
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
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
- Fax machines or fax software or
anything that constantly monitors the phone line. Stuff like
this makes it difficult to connect regardless of connection
US Robotics/3Com Modems
Boca Research V.90 Upgrade Wizard
Upgrade list from 56k.com
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
1999, AlaNet Internet Services, Inc.