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How to - 56K dial-in access for Windows 95/98

This document explains how 56K works, and links on how to configure your system to access your NCKCN 56K technology. Please be aware that 56K access is in limited areas. Hopefully we will have the technology in all our member communities soon.


56K Technology is done by eliminating one of the analog-to-digital conversions from the local telephone office, or CO (Central Office). The ISP has to have a digital line straight to the CO, and this is in the form of a Channelized digital T-1. These T-1s are in most cases more than twice the cost of a regular analog dial-in line, called a POTS line, (Plain Old Telephone Service). Each channel on the T-1 carries 64K of digital data, with 24 channels on a full T-1. Then you have to have a digital signal processor or sometimes erroneously refered to as a digital modem on the end of this digital T-1 to connect to the 56K call. 

The following will explain some things about 56K technology so you can connect at the fastest speed possible and evade as many incompatibility issues. We have tested the new system and have not found any problems, however, as with all new systems some minor bugs may show up. Please be patient and let us know if there are any problems that have eluded our attention.

First: Federal law prohibits the actual speed of a connection above 53Kbs. This means that you will not connect at 56Kbps, (Kilobits per second). No one does. Depending on your phone line quality and equipment, you will probably connect at speeds of less than 50Kbps. That’s just the way it works. However, according to our initial tests, connections have been consistently around 49Kbps with download times cut roughly by half or better! That’s super connection speeds! Again, don’t expect to connect at the theoretical limit of 56Kbps, it just won’t happen, ever, anywhere! This again has absolutely nothing to do with the NCKCN system but the telephone lines and system.

Second: The digital 56K modems you will be dialing into are full ITU V.90 modems. They are DSP Cards that modulate at full V.90 (the official ITU 56K standard). Unfortunately, modems that use the K-flex connection do not support V.90, or x2. The good news is that usually there are upgrades, (most are free from the manufacturer for so called 56K modems), available for these modems that will flash the modem to fully support V.90 from the modem manufacturer. If you know this is the case (and 99.99% of the time this is the case), and you experience connection problems with K-Flex modems, you will want to contact your modem manufacturer about any upgrades or promotions and not NCKCN. There’s really no other way to say this; " NCKCN does not support hardware issues, as we do not sell hardware and we do not have the modem upgrades or promotions". We simply provide the most compatible access available anywhere to eliminate as many incompatibilities as possible. (Actually, we don’t sell or support software either, as all software provided by NCKCN is native, or available for your operating system; yet we try to provide a simple help system to answer basic connection problems). You have to be absolutely sure that your modem is using the latest software update and that it FULLY supports V.90. Modems that advertise as 56K compatible, capable, or support 56K most likely won’t work. It must FULLY be a V.90 modem. YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST MAKE SURE OF THIS!!! Again, NCKCN doesn’t have these upgrades nor can we "make" your modem support V.90. We can’t stress enough how crucial this point is! Fortunately these days, this is much less a problem unless you have an older modem.

**Whew** ;^)

Third: Perhaps the most determinate factor regarding 56K connection is the local telephone line quality. Since NCKCN is not a local telephone provider, we have absolutely no way of controlling the quality of the local telephone lines. In many cases, the local telephone provider will only deliver a telephone line capable of 19,200bps! And that's all federal law says they have to deliver! Needless to say, 56K connection is impossible with that quality of phone lines. In the areas that have locally owned Independent Telephone companies, the situation is much better as they deliver much higher quality lines. There is also a distance limit from the central switch (your local telephone office) that if exceeded will most likely cause too much noise on the line for 56K connection to occur. There’s nothing we can do about this; it’s simply a function of the technology. The 56K connection is of course less tolerant to noise than 33.6K connections. Which is less tolerant to noise on the lines than a 28.8K connection and so forth. If you are beyond the limit, or your lines generate too much noise, then you can switch back to the 33.6K access.

Lastly: There is no way to single out a specific phone # to call for a dedicated (just yours only) 56K connection. On our 33.6K POTS dial-ins we can single out a specific phone # so that you can be assured that this is your private line. We can’t do that with the 56K connection, you will be in with the rest of the callers. However, we should have sufficient a number of 56K modems where this might not be an issue. Please call us if you have questions in this regard.


Now on to how to access. Make sure that you let us know you are wanting to switch to 56K if you are switching from 33.6K access. You can simply email us at, or call at 1-877-841-6500, Hours: 8 A.M. to 7 P.M.,  M thru F (NCKCN Members only). However, make sure you stay with the access for which you have indicated, or let us know otherwise. If you switch between 56K and the 33.6K numbers, and visa-vera, you will be charged for two full-unmetered accounts. Please use the membership level for which you have indicated your NCKCN access. There are of course exceptions such as having had to switch you back to 33.6K access due to line problems. This will also be implemented for 33.6K POTS members trying to access 56K.

You simply need to change the number you are dialing into to access the 56K modems. You can look at the Dial-Up Networking Guide to see step-by-step instructions on changing the number. For Mac members, look at the Mac PPP Guide for instructions.

You can also test your phone line for 56K capability by following the instructions found at Note that this is for the phone line, not the actual modem.

That's all there is to it!


If you have support or general questions please email us at:
If you have any comments or questions about the NCKCN System, you can reach NCKCN by e-mail at:

This page last updated 01/16/12 01:31:58 PM
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