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1999 Commonwealth Technical Services, Inc. Last updated on Saturday, 08-Feb-2003 08:10:49 EST.

Technical Support/56K Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting 56K connection problems

There are many causes for non-56K connections.  The problem can be caused by incorrect modem configuration, incompatible phone line, incompatible modem technology, noisy phone lines, or telephone switch problems.  Below are some suggestions to help isolate the problem.

  1. Incompatible modem technology:  Our service supports the V.92 and V.90 protocols only.  If your 56K modem is using the older K56 or X2 protocol, you must upgrade the modem to V.90 in order to connect at speeds higher than 28,800.  Contact your modem manufacturer for upgrade information.
  2. Incorrect modem configuration:  If you have upgraded your modem or re-installed Windows on your computer, many times windows does not recognize your modem as anything other than "Standard Modem".  If this is the case, you need to obtain and install the correct driver for your modem.  Also, some modems can benefit from using a specific initialization string which can be obtained from the modem manufacturer. Finally, if your modem is more than a few months old, there may be firmware or driver updates available to make your modem work better. Contact your modem or computer manufacturer for more information.
  3. Noisy phone lines:  Plug a regular (non-cordless) telephone into the line that you are using for your computer, and place an outgoing call to someone.  Have the person hold on the line, and listen carefully for noise, static, hum, or crosstalk (hearing other people's conversations in the background).  Then have the person call you and do the same thing.  If you hear any of these noises, contact your local telephone company repair service.  These noises will interfere with your modem communications.
  4. Telephone switch problems:  Some areas are serviced by older telephone switching stations that conflict with 56K technology.  This is more common in rural areas.   If you suspect this may be a problem, you can contact us to confirm it for you.   There is nothing that can be done to correct this problem other than moving.   If you need high speed access, contact us about satellite or ISDN service which is available in most areas.
  5. Incompatible phone line:  In some areas, the telephone lines are not capable of supporting the 56K technology.  This is usually due to additional analog-to-digital conversions on your line.  Again, there is not much that can be done to correct this problem, but the following procedure can help you to confirm this.  The best thing to do is test the line using the US Robotics 56K test system. Note:  A US Robotics modem is NOT required to use this service, in fact, you can use this with any 28,800 or higher speed modem.  We suggest you try this if you are considering upgrading your modem to make sure your line will support it before making the purchase.  Use HyperTerminal from windows 95/98 under accessories and configure a session to dial 1-847-262-6000. The system will prompt you for some info, and once you are registered, type line test at the main menu and it will test your line to ensure 56K capability. It will then return a lot of detailed information, but will summarize it into you can do 56K or you can't.  If it says you can't, then there's not much else to be done. If it says you can, then the problem is most likely in your modem configuration. In this case, refer to the above suggestions to remedy the problem.

If you continue to experience trouble with 56K connections, feel free to contact our office at 804-768-6707 for further help.