Wednesday, April 11, 2001

ADSL Has Arrived!!!

Internet Express is excited to announce the availability of ADSL service for the Iowa Quad Cities and Muscatine. Call us today to see if this a viable alternative for your existing dialup or cable connection to the Internet. DSL in Illinois??

What is DSL?

DSL is an acronym for Digital Subscriber Line, which gives you the ability to transmit high-speed data and voice traffic over the same telephone line. DSL is a technology for pushing a (relatively) large number of bits through wiring that is typical for "last mile" telephone connections - i.e. small gage copper wire of lengths less than 18,000 feet. This is a dedicated connection and you will still be able to make and receive calls while you are connected to the Internet.

If you currently have a second analog line that you use to connect to the Internet, you may be able to disconnect that line. Connection speeds start at 256kbps and range up to 1Mbps.

Wiring/Line Qualification

There have been some misconceptions about the wiring type required by DSL modems. Category 5 wire is not required for DSL modems. DSL modems can work over Category 3 wiring or even worse. However, the better the wiring the less the signal degradation and the longer the distance over which DSL modems will still work. If you are re-wiring your house, install Category 5 or better. However, keep in mind that whatever wiring is in your house is just a fraction of the total wiring between you and the telephone central office, most of which you have no control over.

Not all telephone lines are capable of passing the high frequencies used by DSL modems. There are also limits to the length of copper wire that DSL will work on. Therefore, a telephone line must be "qualified" before DSL can be installed on the line. The line qualification is done by the telephone company and checks the length of the local loop, for the presence of loading coils, for the presence of excessive bridge taps, for local loops that are provisioned over DLC, and the general state of the line.


One of the first things a new DSL user wants to know is "how fast is this line, really?" So they surf off to some server somewhere and try to download a big file. They are subsequently pleased at the speed or curious because the rate doesn't seem as fast as the modem is rated. Here are a few quick points to keep in mind while measuring your performance:

Know your modem's speed. Your modem speed is "trained up" or negotiated with the corresponding equipment at the other end of your local loop. DSL Modems, like standard analog modems, can train up at different speeds, depending on the line condition and configuration settings at the consumer end and Telco end of the connection.

Recognize that the Internet is not homogenous. Some servers may be far away and connected over slow links. You will not get fast transfer rates from these servers regardless of how fast your local connection is. You are only as fast as the slowest link (or slowest server). In other words, the best download test would be a connection to a fast server directly on your ISP's network. This kind of test eliminates the most unknowns.

Know what you are measuring. When you get performance numbers, where do you get them from? They may mean different things. For example, while downloading a file in Internet Explorer, IE will report a download speed. This is the speed that the actual file data is being copied. (For example, a 200k file that takes 60 seconds to transfer is a download speed of 3.3k/sec.) The actual number of bytes passed over the DSL connection is much higher because of the network overhead and error correction that takes place continually while transferring data.


An ADSL connection to the Internet has a greater security risk than an analog modem dialup connection. For one, the bandwidth is greater, allowing the possibility of more cracking to be done in the same period of time. More importantly, the connection is always on, which makes your hosts a much easier (and potentially more lucrative) target to find. Securing a connection to the Internet is a large topic and should be addressed on an individual basis to determine the best solution for your business. Just be aware that because ADSL is inherently more insecure than a dialup connection, it makes addressing security issues more important.

System and Equipment Requirements

Computer Types Desktop & Laptop Desktop
Operating Systems
Windows 95/98/NT 4.0 or

OS 7.5.5 or Greater
CPU 486DX2 66MHz or Greater CPU CPU Power PC or 68K Series (Motorola 68xx series CPU)
RAM 16 MB 16 MB
Hard Disk Space 25 MB 25 MB
Network Connection
Installed 10BaseT NIC or available PCI or ISA slot
Equipped with 10BaseT or AUI NIC
Additional equipment Router for LAN connectivity Router for LAN connectivity

DSL is currently only available on the Iowa side of the Quad Cities through a U.S. West service called MegaBit Service. US West pricing for this service is as follows:

Product Per month fee One-time activation fee
MegaLine (256k) $29.95 $69
MegaOfficce(512k) $62.40 $69
MegaBusiness (768k) $76.80 $69
MegaBit 1M down 1M up $120 $69

Internet Express will check your line qualifications for you if you contact our office. In order to do this qualification, we will need your phone number and billing number from your US West phone bill or the last 4 digits of the primary account holder's Social Security number.

Internet Express offers the following ADSL service packages:
(prices do not include US West charges)

Level Downstream Upstream
Bronze 256K 256K
Silver 512K 512K
Gold 768K 768K
Platinum 1M 1M


Package Residential Small Business Small Business Plus Corporate
Bronze $15 $40 $100 $200
Silver $25 $50 $150 $300
Gold $50 $75 $200 $400
Platinum n/a n/a $300 $500
Setup fee waived $50 $150 $300
Additional IP #'s $10 $10/per IP # $25/per subnet $25/per subnet
Equipment Setup-on-site $75 $75 $75 $75

Package features:

- one IP number
- 3 tiers of pricing
- transparent web-caching
Small Business:
Package features:

- transparent web-caching
- one IP number
- 4 tiers of pricing
- can run mail server
Package features:

- optional web-caching
- subnet of 14 IP #'s
- 4 tiers of pricing
- can run servers of any sort
- 24 hour monitoring
- can purchase additional blocks of IP #'s
Small Business Plus:
Package features:

- optional web-caching
- subnet of 5 IP #'s
- 4 tiers of pricing
- can run servers of any sort
- can purchase additional blocks of IP #'s

How do I know which package is right for me or my company?

Before you try to find the answer to that question, you should start by making sure you pick the right Company to provide your ADSL. Internet Express is that company. Internet Express has been the premier Internet Service Provider for the Quad Cities, Dubuque, Galena and Geneseo for the last 4 years and continues to do so by providing reliable Internet connectivity with state of the art equipment and quality technical support staff and by continually staying on top of technologies such as ADSL.

Our current upstream fractional T-3 Internet connection is provided by two of the leading Internet providers, UUNET Technologies and QWest. These connections provide our customers with reliable access through high speed redundancy which sets us apart from all other local Internet Service Providers in our marketplace. Most other Internet Service Providers only have a single T-1 upstream connection to the Internet. This type of connection will prove to be very limiting when trying to provide high-speed Internet access such as ADSL at the user level. It will only take full-utilization of 6 of the lowest level ADSL packages (256K) to fill a T-1 upstream connection. Internet Express minimizes this potential bottleneck out to the Internet by having a fractional T-3 (equivalent to up to 28 T-1's) connection to the Internet and by implementing quality web-caching technology. Web-caching technology involves storing copies of data (web sites) on servers local to the customer's access point. Commonly accessed pages that have been cached will load faster, but pages that change frequently may contain outdated information. This web-caching service is an option feature for certain levels of our business ADSL packages.

Choosing your package:

- this package is for residential customers only who will typically have 1 computer at home and use the Internet primarily for web-surfing and e-mail. Residential customers may purchase up to 3 more IP numbers for additional computers used at home. Residential packages cannot be purchased by businesses.

Small Business:
- this package is for small businesses who need fast, reliable Internet connectivity and the option to host their own mail server, if necessary. These accounts are behind the web-caching server, which may pose a problem if you utilize certain forms of web authentication. If this is the case, you will need to upgrade to a Small Business Plus account.

Small Business Plus:
- this package is for businesses who need fast, reliable Internet connectivity and the ability to host one or more servers (mail, web, ftp, etc.) and who need access to the Internet without web-caching.
- this package is for medium to large businesses who rely heavily on their Internet connection to do business. This account is monitored 24 hours a day by Internet Express and US West is contacted if there is a problem with the line. With this package, companies can host multiple servers (mail, web, ftp, etc.) at their location, and have the option to take advantage of web-caching.

© Copyright 1998-1999 Internet Express Inc.
Phone: 888.620.7873 or 309.736.8000
Click here to contact us
524 15th Street, Moline, IL 61265 USA