Some modem vendors provide test lines to determine if a phone line will support 56K. One is at 1-888-877-9248. Log on as "x2".
53Kbps is the maximum speed and can only be achieved with especially good telephone lines. Initial testing (PC Magazine May97) in early 1997 indicates that typical speeds will be about 47K.
In some cases 33.6Kbps (V.34) modems are software upgradable to X2.
To further complicate things, a competing, similar, incompatible, technology called K56Flex is being marketed by a group of modem manufacturers. K56Flex capabilities are similar to X2. Compuserve and AOL have announced plans to support X2. It is not clear if, and which, data suppliers will support K56Flex.
To summarize, X2 or K56Flex modems can be used to achieve speeds somewhat above 33.6Kbps in one direction when talking to a modem designed to support the specific technology over a communication line that is compatible.
Return To Index Copyright 1994-2002 by Donald Kenney.