What is V.90?
On February 6, 1998, an international agreement was finally reached which established a single 56K modem standard called "V.90" (vee-dot-ninety). This ended a full year during which there was no standard and two fully incompatible modem technologies — one, K56flex, promoted by Lucent/Rockwell, the other, x2, by 3Com/USR — were both being touted as the best product for 56K dial-up access. While these other modem types could not communicate with each other at high speed, all V.90 modems will be able to. Once the standard is fully implemented, ISPs (like Telebyte NW) will no longer need to support two modem technologies and our customers will be able to purchase a 56K modem from any manufacturer and use it on any 56K dial-up number. Update: Telebyte NW fully supports V.90.
What are the benefits of a 56K modem?
Speed is the primary benefit. Theoretically, you can access the Internet at twice the speed of your old 28.8K modem. A second benefit is the cost of 56K modems. They cost about as much as 28.8K modems did years ago. And using ISDN or similar data-transmission speeds is more costly. Another benefit is the availability of 56K modem access. Other high-speed technologies such as ISDN and xDSL simply aren't available in many places.
Is a V.90 modem the same as a 56K modem?
No. Though all V.90 modems are 56K modems, not all 56K modems are V.90 modems. A V.90 modem is a 56K modem based on international standards. 56K modems other than V.90 do not conform to the standard and the different technologies used by them are incompatible.
I want to buy the best, fastest modem — isn't that one of the new V.90 modems?
Possibly. If you live in an area where one of our numbers is local for you, then a V.90 modem is your best choice. But you must check to see if one of our numbers is available for you. If V.90 is not yet available in your area, then you should start with one of the non-standard 56K modems and upgrade later when Telebyte NW is able to support it in your area (upgrades are free from most modem manufacturers). Update: Telebyte NW fully supports V.90.
How can I upgrade my modem to V.90?
While not all modems are ready to accept a V.90 connection, most newer modems can be upgraded via the modem manufacturer's website.
I've had problems connecting at a true 28.8K with my current modem. Will I achieve a "true" 56K connection with V.90 or any of the other 56K modems?
Unfortunately, no. The FCC capped certain types of data-transmission rates at 53K, which affects ALL 56K and V.90 modems. More importantly, the AVERAGE connection rate of 56K modems is only in the mid-40K range; most independent testing puts it between 42K and 46K. So, clearly 56K is not a guaranteed connection rate. Rather, it is a maximum speed that you'll hope to approach while online.
Are there any more cons to 56K or V.90 modems?
A couple. You can't upload data with your 56K or V.90 modem (your Web page, Email, etc.) faster than 33.6K. Also, 56K and V.90 won't work where there are digital signal conversions within a link.
Is there any additional information about V.90 and 56K?
http://www.v90.com/ offers a comprehensive look at the new 56K modem standard and its issues.