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FAQs

Qwest Broadband™ Service

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Technical Information


* What is DSL technology?
* What are some examples of the different DSL technologies?
* Why are there so many variations of DSL technologies?
* What are some of the differences between HDSL technology and the other xDSL technology termed ADSL?
* Which variation of xDSL technology is Qwest® offering?
* What is RADSL?
* Will the DSL circuit be used like a leased line, allowing mail and web servers to be connected to the Internet full time?
* Is this DSL technology a better alternative than cable-modems or the new line of 56 Kbps analog modems?
* What about cable modems?
* Do customers need to be loop qualified?
* What if a location does not meet the loop qualification requirements?
* Who is responsible for the IP addressing?
* Does Qwest® assign and register the required addressing and domain conventions?
* What is the line coding for RADSL?
* Does DSL from Qwest Broadband™ Service support Layer Two Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)?
* What needs to be done to the Customer's computer to use Qwest Broadband™ services?
* Can Customers plug their Computer into their regular telephone jack to use Qwest Broadband™ services?
* Is there a distance limit for Qwest Broadband™ services?
* If customers are in a central office that is equipped for Qwest Broadband™ services and their addresses are within the 18,000 feet distance limitation, can they have the service?
* Will the Qwest Broadband™ user be able to access the Worldwide public switched telephone network for standard voice calls to and from standard telephones?
* What are the minimum PC requirements for using Qwest Broadband™?
* Could I Beta Test your product?
* Why can't I get service?
* Are we dealing in a peer-to-peer environment when using Qwest Broadband™?
* Can a Subscriber have multiple machines at home all connecting to the Internet?
* Can a customer run analog modems and fax machines on the same line as the Qwest Broadband™ line?
* Can subscribers have multiple voice lines along with Qwest Broadband™ services?
* What is a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?
* Can I use my Sun Ultra to connect to Qwest Broadband™ services?
* Can I connect to AOL with my IP Address?
* Will my ISDN CPE work on Qwest Broadband™ services?
* Do I Need a CSU/DSU for Qwest Broadband™ services?

  Q: What is DSL technology?

A: DSL provides simultaneous voice and high-speed data services over a single pair of copper wires. DSL technology allows data transmission at speeds much faster than the best available analog and digital modems.


  Q: What are some examples of the different DSL technologies?

A: There are several variations of the DSL products that use copper cabling to move data between the end subscriber and the host location. Data is separated from voice traffic at the serving central office and then connected to a high-speed data network and delivered to the host destination. Some forms of DSL technologies include: HDSL, SDSL, RADSL, ADSL, and VDSL. These technologies may be incorporated into the network to deliver Qwest Broadband™ as they become available and are evaluated for service delivery.

  Q: Why are there so many variations of DSL technologies?

A: Different applications require a variety of speeds in order to transmit data. Therefore, DSL based services offer the appropriate amount of bandwidth to the user for his or her specific application. There are multiple line coding techniques used by the DSL vendors. Each of these techniques has strengths and weaknesses within a telephony network. Some DSL technology is intended for use in campus environments and others work well within a building. Technology for telephony must be compliant with certain standards to prevent interference and cross talk.


  Q: What are some of the differences between HDSL technology and the other xDSL technology termed ADSL?

A: HDSL is a technology using 2B1Q line coding and offering bi-directional data transmission with both upstream and downstream traffic traveling at the same rate.

ADSL also offers bi-directional data transmission but the downstream traffic travels faster than the upstream traffic. For example, the user's upstream connection may be at 128 Kbps while the downstream connection would be at 1.5 Mbps. In certain applications, such as surfing the Internet, the user needs more bandwidth while downloading information from the Internet and therefore the ADSL technology works well.

  Q: Which variation of xDSL technology is Qwest® offering?

A: Our initial offering was based on HDSL technology. While our HDSL­based offering was beneficial to our customers since we were able to install an established technology, it was also limiting our ability to offer service to many customers who were located farther than 12,000 from their Central Office.

With this in mind, we decided to deploy a RADSL solution that would increase our availability scope while also offering customers even higher speeds.


  Q: What is RADSL?

A: While one is transmitting data over the telephone wire or local loop, line conditions on the local loops vary all the time. Rate Adaptive Digital Subscriber Line (RADSL) is able to adapt to the changing line conditions on the local loops. In fact, RADSL is able to adapt to these changing conditions as they are happening.

  Q: Will the DSL circuit be used like a leased line, allowing mail and web servers to be connected to the Internet full time?

A: Yes. Our Qwest Broadband™ service are logical, point to point connections and you would be connected full time to an ISP or to a Corporate host. The connection from the Corporate host or ISP is a shared connection. Other Qwest Broadband™ end users ride the same connection.


  Q: Is this DSL technology a better alternative than cable-modems or the new line of 56 Kbps analog modems?

A: These technologies are quite complementary. We see cable-modems and the 56 Kbps modem technology as attractive solutions for the more infrequent business and consumer Internet access users where a shared capability with others is acceptable. The DSL technologies will provide a dedicated networking solution to large and small businesses and the power-user-at-home marketplace.

  Q: What about cable modems?

A: No discussion of DSL technologies would be complete without a review of cable modems. These modems use cable TV companies' coaxial networks as the transport medium. DSL technologies use the Regional Bell Operating Companies' (RBOC) twisted wire pair network.

There are two major issues that impact the deployment and use of cable modems. The first is that only about 7% of existing coaxial distribution systems are capable of two-way traffic. The cable industry is investing heavily to upgrade their facilities to a hybrid fiber/coax based network. Most coaxial networks are designed for one-way downstream distribution only, requiring the expensive replacement of distribution nodes. The second is that all subscribers on a distribution network (from 500 to several thousand homes) share the bandwidth, which can reduce an individual's throughput to analog modem dial-up speeds.

Another cable modem topic of discussion is that unterminated cable TV jacks (no TV connected and no terminating resistor cap screwed on) act as antennas on the distribution node. Any RFI-generating (radio frequency interference) equipment near an un-terminated jack injects noise into the entire distribution network. AC motors (vacuum cleaners), computer monitors, fluorescent lights, and a host of other household items generate RFI. This is not critical for TV viewing, but can adversely affect modem throughput.


  Q: Do customers need to be loop qualified?

A: Yes, loop qualification is required.

  Q: What if a location does not meet the loop qualification requirements?

A: Unfortunately, if a location does not meet the loop qualification requirements, the subscriber cannot get Qwest Broadband™. We are working with various vendors to develop a more robust solution for customers in order to provide service to those locations where access is denied at present. In the interim, if a subscriber is interested in more information on the suite of Internet services from Qwest®, please check into Consumer Internet Services. You may also be interested in other data transport products that Qwest® offers. Please visit our World of Interactive Services page for those options.


  Q: Who is responsible for the IP addressing?

A: The subscriber's host site or MegaCentral location is responsible for the address.

  Q: Does Qwest® assign and register the required addressing and domain conventions?

A: No. All of the registration of addresses and domain conventions must be assigned, administered and managed by the subscriber's host location.


  Q: What is the line coding for RADSL?

A: Rate Adaptive Carrierless Amplitude/Phase modulation line coding.

  Q: Does Qwest Broadband™ support Layer Two Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)?

A: Qwest Broadband™ is a bridged Layer 2 service. If L2TP is supported on the end points and can be transported across the network, then it should work.


  Q: What needs to be done to the Customer's computer to use the Qwest Broadband™ service?

A: An Ethernet card must be installed in the customer's computer.

  Q: Can Customers plug their Computer into their regular telephone jack to use the Qwest Broadband™ services?

A: Yes. On one end the DSL modem plugs into an RJ11 jack (a regular telephone jack) and on the other end the modem plugs into a RJ45 jack with a 10Base T interface Network Interface Card (NIC).


  Q: Is there a distance limit for Qwest Broadband™ services?

A: Yes. At this time the customer must be within 18,000 feet from a serving Central Office.

  Q: If customers are in a central office that is equipped for Qwest Broadband™ services and their addresses are within the 18,000 feet distance limitation, can they have the service?

A: Probably. However, we need to go through the pre-qualification process to ensure that there aren't any other technical issues.


  Q: Will the Qwest Broadband™ services user be able to access the Worldwide Public Switched Telephone Network for standard voice calls to and from standard telephones?

A: We intend to deliver standard voice services, with switched access anywhere you can call today.

  Q: What are the minimum PC requirements for using Qwest Broadband™ services?

A: The minimum configuration for a PC is a 486 with a certain amount of RAM and available hard disk space. Please visit our technical requirements section for more information.


  Q: Could I Beta Test your product?

A: While we appreciate your offer to test our products, we have already tested our services extensively in our labs located in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Denver, Colorado. Additional tests have been performed on Qwest® facilities to the residences of company employees. However, we will maintain your offer on file, and should the need for beta testing arise in the future, we will contact you.

 Q: Why can't I get service?

A: Unfortunately, even when you input the first three digits of your phone number, and you get a message that Qwest Broadband™ services are available in your exchange, there still may be hurdles to obtaining service. Most of the inhibitors to receiving Qwest Broadband™ services are technical in nature. We at Qwest® are developing solutions to make access to Qwest Broadband™ services more easily attainable by all. However, the following obstacles to receiving service do exist in some areas:

    *  If your phone wire is served by Digital Loop Carrier (DLC) equipment, you will not be able to receive Qwest Broadband™ services. A DLC is a multiplexing device in the telephone network used to provide economical voice service to high growth and suburban areas. A solution to provide xDSL based data services will be available in prototype 2Q98. Extensive network testing and evaluation is required to provide service out of DLC devices.
    *  If the telephone wires to your location from the Qwest® Central Office exceed the distance limit of 18,000 feet, you will not be able to receive Qwest Broadband™ services. Other factors such as temperature, wire gauge and condition of the wire may raise or lower the effective distance at which the service can be offered.
    *  If bridge taps, wire gauge changes and/or load coils incorporate part of your phone wire, there may be delays in receiving service. We need to identify and deal with them before you are able to receive Qwest Broadband™ services.
    *  Finally, please keep in mind that even though some customers may not be able to access Qwest Broadband™ services, they may be eligible for other of transport services from Qwest®. For more details please visit our World of Interactive Services page at www.megaspeed.com.
    *  If you would like to speak to a Qwest® representative for more information about alternative high-speed solutions, please call 1-888-634-2879.

  Q: Are we dealing in a peer­to­peer environment when using Qwest Broadband™ services?

A: No. Qwest Broadband™ services are provisioned for a dedicated, point­to­point connection between a host and a subscriber location. The connection is a virtual private network and does not support peer­to­peer communication.

  Q: Can a Subscriber have multiple machines at home all conecting to the Internet?

A: Yes, but under very controlled circumstances. If the customer has a router working in conjunction with the 10 BaseT connection and can capture an IP address, then they can subnet behind the router.

Some ISPs or Corporate Hosts may assign a statically mapped or fixed IP address to the MegaSubscriber. This scenario, when used in conjunction with a router can allow a number of other users access by subnetting the IP address. We are providing a Layer Two service and if the ISP or MegaCentral location assigns the address we cannot control how the end devices use the address.

If the MegaCentral host assigns a dynamically assigned IP address and provides an always on service, the end users, if they terminate the 10 BaseT connection in a router, may be able to configure subnets after determining what the IP address is. Again, this is an issue how the host end and the subscriber ends are configured.

In most cases, the connection is a single user to a single host.


  Q: Can a customer run analog modems and fax machines on the same line as the Qwest Broadband™ service line?

A: Yes, the voice line supported by Qwest Broadband™ service is just like any other POTS line. You can connect the voice line to any device registered with the FCC to support either voice or data transmission.

  Q: Can subscribers have multiple voice lines along with Qwest Broadband™ services?

A: Qwest Broadband™ services support only one voice line on the same pair of wires carrying data to the subscriber.


  Q: What is a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?

A: A VPN creates the effect of a private, leased line network, but without the associated design, deployment, cost and vulnerability issues. Dedicated circuits are established between the host location, the closest Central Office and the subscriber location. Dedicated circuits are not established between various subscriber locations. Routing tables are established to route the data traffic over the high­speed DSL facilities on a priority basis in order to ensure that the level of service provided is similar to that offered by a true private network.

  Q: Can I use my Sun Ultra to connect to Qwest Broadband™ services?

A: In most cases, you need to connect to a UNIX server or a device that supports an Ethernet connection to your computer.


  Q: Can I connect to AOL with my IP Address?

A: Most ISPs assign IP addresses using either RADIUS or DHCP servers. It is up to your ISP if they will allow you to connect with an IP address that has been assigned to you.

  Q: Will my ISDN CPE work on Qwest Broadband™ services?

A: It depends on what you have for CPE. Standard routers, bridges or hubs with a 10BaseT interface will work fine. Qwest Broadband™ services and ISDN raw interfaces are not compatible.

  Q: Do I Need a CSU/DSU for Qwest Broadband™ services?

A: No. However, there is Customer Provided Equipment (CPE) needed at the MegaSubscriber location. The device is commonly called a modem but it is not officially a modem. The technical term for the device is an ADSL Termination Unit-Remote or ATU-R. This device must be connected with a similar device in the serving Central Office. The customer is required to purchase and maintain this device.