New x2/56Kbps Dial-Up Modems Available

We are pleased to announce that Computer Centre now provides the x2/56Kbps dial-up service for home access to the HKU Campus Network as a major improvement of Centre's dial-up facilities. By the end of October, a total of 144 x2/56Kbps modem lines have been installed. (Among these lines, 48 and 96 lines were put into service on September 30 and October 31, 1997 respectively.)

What is x2 standard?

x2/56Kbps is a new modem standard designed by the U.S. Robotics Corporation. Although the x2/56Kbps technology can, in theory, support connection speeds of up to 56Kbps, the performance of a connection relies highly on the quality of the telephone line. Users in different districts in Hong Kong may find their connection speeds quite different. Connections using x2/56Kbps modems at both ends normally can achieve speeds of higher than 40Kbps. Good connections may achieve better performance with speeds of higher than 50Kbps.

There are currently two 56Kbps modem standards: x2 and K56Flex. Users of K56Flex modems or other modems dialing to the HKUPPP 56K Server can only achieve up to the data rate of 33.6Kbps or less. To enjoy higher than 33.6Kbps connections, you need to use a x2/56Kbps modem.

Apart from the speed improvement, the new HKUPPP 56K Servers use leased channelized-T1 circuits, each of which supports 24 56Kbps PPP dial-up connections.  This provides more stable connections and there will be fewer chances of line dropping due to cross-talk and noise problems which are experienced with the individual analogue dial-up lines. Therefore, we would encourage all our users to choose to use these new lines if possible since they can benefit from the new modem pool to have better quality connections even when non-x2 modems are used.

A new HKUPPP dial-up package, tailored for use with the the x2/56K HKUPPP modem pool, is being developed and will be available very soon. For the time being, you can follow the instructions provided on the web URL: to configure manually the existing HKUPPP package installed on your PC for dial-up connection to the new modems.

Thomas Y T Lee
Tel: 2859 7977

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