Modem / Cable Internet FAQs


  1. What equipment do I need to use regular dial-up service?

    • Windows 95/98, 2000, ME, XP; 486 processor, 16 MB of memory, 28.8 Kbps Modem
    • Macintosh: Power PC or better; 16 MB of memory, 14.4 Kbps Modem


  2. Does offer 56K Modem access?
    Yes, 56K Modem service is available in all service areas.

  3. v.90 — The new standard
    v.24 v.32 v.42 v.90 What do these all mean? Well, the short answer is that they are specifications for certain procedures and standards by which modems communicate with one another. Some represent the way the modem handles error correction, others tell how to compress data, still others show how to talk high speed.

    The new v.90 protocol is in the latter group. It is a set of instructions that the modem follows, much like a sheet of music, to communicate with another modem. That other modem, if it’s v.90, will hear the sequence of signals and respond in a similar fashion. Then the two modems begin negotiating other protocols like error correction, data compression, reliable speed, and so on.

    v.90 was developed to provide one standard which everyone could use to establish high-speed connections. Before February 1998, there were two standards called KFlex by Lucent and Rockwell and X2 by US Robotics and 3Com. The standards are dramatically different, though each achieves the same goal: high-speed communications. But it made for difficult purchasing decisions because a KFlex modem cannot negotiate with an X2 modem at high speeds and vice versa. Having two standards is even harder on Internet (or any dial-up) providers because they could chose to either alienate one protocol over another, or spend huge amounts of money to offer both.

    But the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) stepped in and established that there would be only one high-speed protocol. After much engineering and assistance from both the KFlex and X2 teams, a common protocol, v.90, was developed. All modem manufacturers agreed that they would support the new protocol, and final testing is currently underway, including interoperability between the “old” standard types.

    If you have a v.90 modem from 3Com or US Robotics (one and the same now), then the modem also contains an upgrade of the X2 protocol and can connect to our X2 modems at high speed. If your modem is from some other company and the literature doesn’t specifically say X2, then it’s of the Rockwell/Lucent family and formerly ran KFlex. However the KFlex code is too large to coexist with v.90 in the modem’s memory, so those can only connect to a KFlex or v.90, but not both.