DSL Frequently Asked Questions

DSL Packages - DSL Tech

Is DSL available at my location?

Zhonka Broadband offers DSL in Qwest serviced areas throughout western Washington. If you haven't had DSL at your location before, simply fill out the pre-qualification form to see if your location meets the technical requirements to receive this high speed Internet service!

Generally your location must be within approximately 4 miles wire length of the nearest phone company Central Office (CO) switch or a DSLAM-equipped Remote Terminal. Qwest is working to expand deployment so if you don't qualify now, check back every few months.

How long must I wait for DSL?

For new DSL accounts, usually about 5-7 days, though sometimes it can take longer due to phone company workload and facilities in your area.

If you currently have DSL, it takes about 5-14 days to transfer to Zhonka and there may be a service interruption lasting from a couple minutes to a day though we work with you to limit this outage time as much as possible.

Do I need to call Qwest to order?

No, just fill out the Zhonka sign-up form. We'll place the DSL order through an internal Qwest channel which is separate from the normal Qwest customer service department. Once we've placed your order, residential customers should receive a phone call from a Qwest rep to confirm your DSL order with Zhonka as ISP. If you don't speak with them, please let us know or call them back at the number they leave.

Why do I need both Qwest and Zhonka for Internet access?

Qwest provides the circuit connection but all DSL users need an Internet Service Provider like Zhonka Broadband to route traffic onto the Internet and provide needed services such as E-mail, Web hosting, Usenet, etc. We think Zhonka offers some worthy perks and services which make us a fine choice to be your DSL provider.

I use a phone company other than Qwest, can I still get Zhonka DSL?

You must have a Qwest line for DSL Service with Zhonka Broadband though you can order a Qwest DSL circuit without the dial-tone service. This is called 'standalone' or 'naked' DSL.

Where can I find more information about how DSL works?

Besides the information you'll find on this page, you may want to visit Qwest's "How Does DSL Work" page and/or visit DSL Reports.com - a user review site for DSL ISPs.

What are the Qwest of DSL circuit costs and speeds?

NOTE: Qwest charges will appear on your Qwest phone bill.

Qwest DSL® -
Qwest Choice DSL 256K - $15/month
Qwest Choice DSL Deluxe - 1.5Mbps - $28/month
Qwest Choice DSL Deluxe Standalone -1.5Mbps - (no dialtone service required) $33/month
Qwest Choice DSL Premier - 5/1Mbps - $38/month
Qwest Choice DSL Premier Standalone - 5/1Mbps - (no dialtone service required) $43/month

Pro 1M - 1/1Mbps - $88/month
Pro 4M - 4/1Mbps - $165/month

Set-up - regularly $99 - occasional promotional pricing available

Host and speed change charge $9.99
Modem $5/month to rent or purchase for $59.99+$10s/h
This info is subject to change, please see Qwest DSL® website for clarification and updated info.

Current price promotions are listed on Qwest's DSL page.

What promotions does Qwest currently offer?

Promotions change from time to time. You can see the newest offerings at Qwest's Residential DSL page or Qwest Small Business DSL page. Please be sure to check with the Qwest website about any other special offers.

Newest Qwest promotions
October 9, 2005 - January 28, 2006 
* Free activation  for new DSL  ($99.00 savings)
* Speed Change charge waived (regularly $9.99)
*Monthly charge reduction for new Choice DSL Deluxe ($26.99)
* Free modem rental for 12 months for DSL Deluxe (1.5Mb)

Is there anything different about this new up to 1.5M product from previous Qwest products?

Yes. Previous products were loop qualified so that Qwest was reasonably sure the customer would get close to the requested speed. The up to 1.5M product is different. Qwest will enable the line to achieve whatever maximum speed it is capable of, and that could be any speed up to 1.5M. Testing shows greater than 75% of the customers will receive the full 1.5M downstream, but there will be loops that will not be able to support the full 1.5M speed. These customers will be able to buy the up to 1.5M speed, and will then be able to make a judgment as to whether they would like to continue on the 1.5M speed, or be moved down to the 256K speed.

Qwest will work with the customer to see if speed can be increased. However, if the issue with the service is isolated to speed, the ticket will not be dispatched to the field. Qwest will use the current standard practice to manage repair tickets. The policy will continue to be evaluated by Qwest.

Downstream speed is up to 1.5Mbps. The upstream speed may go as fast as 1M, depending on line characteristics. Most customers will get at least 896K.

How do I upgrade to the new 1.5M speed package?

To switch your service level, call Qwest at 800-348-1688, or 800-603-6000 for businesses, and request "DSL package change to Choice Deluxe." Ensure they confirm Zhonka as the ISP.

I don't currently have DSL at my location, how do I sign up?

Step One: Pre-qualify your line to see if you qualify. Zhonka offers DSL on Qwest serviced lines in Western Washington state. Not all lines qualify due to distance from phone company central office and other technical capabilities.

Step Two:
Fill out the Zhonka signup form. We will start the process by placing the order to Qwest on your behalf. Please DO NOT place the order with Qwest via their website yourself as this can result in delays in your order's fulfillment.

I already have Qwest DSL with another ISP, how do I switch?

Step One: Fill out the Zhonka signup form - Zhonka will get in touch with you to provide settings and modem set-up support for the switch before the circuit switches over - usually about 7-10 days after ordering.

Step Two: Call Qwest at 800-348-1688, or 800-603-6000 for businesses, and request an "ISP host change to Zhonka" - Zhonka cannot do this on your behalf to prevent "slamming" or unauthorized service changes.

What is the cost to switch?

Qwest normally charges a service fee of $9.99 to switch your ISP though sometimes offer "switch fee waiver" or promotional price. Current price promotions are listed on Qwest's DSL page.

How do I switch to Zhonka DSL from MSN?

Switching from most other Qwest DSL ISPs to Zhonka is rather efficient, however when switching from MSN, the situation becomes somewhat more difficult and service outage time can be up to 10 days though often times shorter. While we don't have first-hand experience switching, based on information from customers who have switched, this delay is not due to a technical issue but rather seems result of a "paper shuffle" between Qwest and MSN.  If you like, we can setup a dial-up account during the DSL switch outage period - just put a note in the sign-up form and we'll activate your account.

please follow these steps:

Step One: Fill out the Zhonka signup form - this way be can ready at our end when the circuit switches.
Step Two: Call MSN to cancel your current service account and return modem as needed.
Step Three: Let Zhonka know when Qwest informs you that your DSL is disconnected and we will re-order your new DSL circuit (usually 7-10 days).

What about my old DSL modem?

Most MSN customers generally rent a modem or are provided one with account. Since MSN will likely want their modem back, you will need to either rent or purchase an Actiontec GT701-wg DSL Gateway modem from Qwest or purchase another unit which is compatible for Qwest DSL service and that you have configuration access ability.  Make sure you select your modem from the list on the sign-up form.

How fast are your DSL connections?

Your DSL speed capability is determined by line conditions and distance from the local Qwest Central Office. Pre-qualify your line to find out your line's ability. Speed levels are 256/256Kbps,1.5/1Mbps, 5/1Mbps, 7/1Mbps.

How can I test my DSL speed once I am connected?

DSLReports.com features some handy tools for testing and tweaking your DSL line. You can also comment on Zhonka and compare with other broadband user's results.

Where can I get a DSL modem?

You have 3 choices - please select your choice on the Zhonka signup page:

  1. Purchase an Actiontec GT701-wg DSL Gateway from Qwest (usually $5/mo)
  2. Rent an Actiontec GT701-wg DSL Gateway from Qwest (about $60 + $10 s/h)
  3. Purchase (or use existing) a DSL modem from Qwest's DSL modem compatibility list like the Zoom X5 (page will open in a new window, Zhonka not responsible for purchase)

DSL Tech

I am having problems with my DSL connection, how can I get help?

Step one: Reboot your modem and your computer to obtain a new IP address
Step two:
Check your modem settings - refer to your Zhonka info letter
Step three:
Contact Zhonka by e-mail using the technical support form
Step four: Contact Qwest DSL tech support 800-247-7285 - they will bring Zhonka in on a conference call if needed - Additional Qwest contact info is at Qwest's DSL contact info page
Step five: Contact Zhonka by phone

Will Zhonka DSL work with my Mac/Win/Linux/etc.?

Certainly! DSL uses the industry standard TCP/IP protocol and most any flavor of operating system with TCP/IP will work. We find Windows 98+ and Mac OSX particularly easy to set-up for use. Bear in mind, Zhonka cannot offer tech support to free and less common operating systems such as Unix/Linux, OS/2, etc. beyond providing connection settings. We can refer you to user's groups where you can gain the know-how to configure your machine.

What computer hardware is needed to run a DSL connection?

Complete technical specifications are listed on Qwest's DSL System Requirements page

In brief, at a very minimum you'll need ...

a PC running Windows 95/98 or later (XP, Me, 2000) with an Ethernet card (NIC) and/or USB, 64 MB RAM and at least 150MB available hard drive space.

a Macintosh - Power PC, iMac or newer - running OS 8.5 or newer (OSX recommended!) with an Ethernet jack or USB port to add an external one, 64MB RAM minimum and 150MB minimum available hard drive space.

Other Operating Systems with a TCP/IP software stack should be able to connect but Zhonka cannot provide support for open source or free OSs and recommend you consult a user's group or web sites to learn more about setting up your Linux.Unix/OS2/Commodore 64 etc. ;-)

All customers will also need Internet Explorer, Netscape, Opera or other common web browser plus an E-mail program such as Outlook Express, Pegasus or Eudora to access your E-mail account. You should find this software already on your computer or you may browse the web to find latest version of these usually no-charge web software programs.

I want a wireless device for my DSL modem, is there a device you recommend?

Check out the Linksys WRT54G Wireless-G Router (page will open in a new window, Zhonka not responsible for purchase)

What's up with the new Actiontec GT701-wg modems?

Beginning in March 19, 2004, the Actiontec GT701-wg modem will be Qwest's replacement for the Actiontec 1524 which has been discontinued by the manufacturer.

Here are some comparisons between the GT701 and the Actiontec 1524:

* Built-in 802.11 b/g wireless on board. No need for an expansion card as in the 1524. All Qwest DSL users receive a wireless networking product with the GT-701-wg. Wireless cards for the PC's� are not included with the GT701-wg. End users will have to purchase a wireless card for each PC to be connected to the GT701-wg via wireless.

* One Ethernet port. The GT701-wg does not have a 4 port switch like the 1524.
* The GT701-wg includes two service indicator LED's.
1) DSL LED identifies when the GT701-wg has trained to the DSLAM and
2) Internet LED identifies when the GT701-wg has authenticated with the ISP and is ready to surf the web.

* The GT701-wg includes a USB status LED
* Double the processing power 160 MHz with the GT701-wg vs. 80 MHz with the 1524
* Double the memory 16M in the GT701-wg vs. 8M in the 1524

The router includes an installation buddy that guides the user through the hardware installation, installs the software, and provisions the PC for DSL service. The full installation process can be completed using the wizard without the user guide.

The GT701-wg Installation Buddy will provide the following support enhancements:
* Support for MAC OS-X hardware installation and setup
* Automatic launch of the MSN OS-X BITS
* Support for MAC OS-9 hardware installation and setup Actiontec 1524 will continue to be supported by Qwest.

How can I learn more about my DSL modem?

Qwest maintains tech support, tutorial and security update website for DSL modems in general plus specific pages for Qwest supported makes/models which are outlined in this Qwest qualified CPE .pdf.

Actiontec® GT701-wg - With built-in wireless and one Ethernet port (more info above).
Usermanual - .pdf
Specifcations - .pdf

Actiontec® 1520/4 - These all-in-one devices feature built-in firewall, hub, DHCP/NAT, IP assignation and convenient web-based configuration tool more.
On Qwest site:
Actiontec 1520/24 info site with firmware updates, advanced configurations, user guides, etc.
1520/24 common questions
1520/24 wireless info
More Actiontec configuration schemes on Qwest's site.

On Actiontec site
Modem support Frequently Asked Questions

On Zhonka site
1520/24 user manual (.pdf)

Login to your Actiontec

Cisco® - note: 675/8 models are discontinued but this information is useful for users still using this modem.
Note: 675 works with CAP encoded DSL circuits only, the 678 works with CAP or DMT.
Zhonka supports existing CAP-encoded DSL circuits which may be using the 675. All new Qwest circuits are DMT encoded, so the 675 will not work.
On Cisco site:
600 series end of sale website - info, manuals, etc.

On Qwest site:
Cisco 675 modem software for Windows & Mac
Cisco 678 modem software for Windows & Mac
Cisco security notice

On Zhonka site:
Cisco 675/8 common configuration commands (and important firmware updates!)

Intel® - 22/100 internal and external models for Windows - Intel 2200 & 3200 modems discontinued
On Qwest site:
Intel PRO/DSL 22/100 (internal) modem software
for Windows XP®
Intel PRO/DSL 3200 (external) modem software for Windows XP
Intel PRO/DSL 2100 modem software for Windows 95/98
Intel PRO/DSL 2100 modem software for Windows 2000
Intel PRO/DSL 2100 modem software for Windows ME

Arescom - These modems are used by some other DSL providers but may work with Zhonka/Qwest DSL. In order to configure these modems, you must have username/pw access to configure using the basic Zhonka settings (remember, Zhonka DSL is "Routed" also called "PPP o/A" mode.
On Zhonka site
User manual

How can I test my DSL speed?

DSLReports.com features some handy tools for testing and tweaking your DSL line. You can also comment on Zhonka and compare with other broadband user's results.

What else can I do with Zhonka DSL?

We encourage you to use your bandwidth, and experiment with the wonders of technology and the Internet including personal servers, wireless zones, VoIP phone, and more. Please read the Zhonka Terms of Service before embarking on new activites.

WE DO NOT provide phone-based technical support for your LAN however, copious amount of support info may be gathered by participating in user's groups and web sites on the topic of LANs, wireless, security, etc.

You should also be aware of basic security issues - Zhonka suggests frequenting http://www.cert.org for security notifications and updates and the Qwest LAN site.

How do I configure my Actiontec modem to run a web server?

In your Actiontec modem setup ( under "Advanced Setup - Port Fowarding" enter the address 80 and the IP address of the computer running the web server. It is recommended that you statically assign this address to the host computer, along with gateway and DNS information. Click "next" and then "Save and Reboot" and you should be good to go.

Your computer will be available at your gateway IP address or hostname "username-dsl.zhonka.net". We can change the publically visible hostname to match your request, and in your domain, if desired.

You will likely need server software installed on your computer and advise that you are responsible for all customer premises equipment.

More Actiontec configuration schemes on Qwest's site.

Can my DSL connection run a Local Area Network?

Yes, by using Network Address Translation/DHCP, you may connect multiple computers to your DSL connection by using a built-in or an external hub.

If you leave the NAT and DHCP on, (with LAN address set to netmask, you should be able to get IP address dynamically assigned to all computers without trouble.

Check out Qwest's DSL LAN set-up page and see the note about security and support above. Please read the Zhonka Terms of Service before embarking on such an activity.

My account includes additional IP addresses ... How do I request these IP addresses?

For accounts which include additional IP addresses, please e-mail Zhonka with intended usage and we'll provision the needed IP addresses as per ARIN guidelines. Depending on your intended usage, you may not need them. The Actiontec modems have built in DHCP/NAT abilities which means you can connect numerous machines simultaneously without having to configure a network or change settings. To do this, simply plug an additional computer into an Ethernet port on the back of the Actiontec, or into a hub, and set the device to "obtain an IP address automatically" and you should be good to go. Again, if you do have specific needs for IP addresses beyond what is mentioned above, just let us know your intended network architecture and we'll provision IPs as per policy.

How do I configure my Cisco modem to set-up a LAN?

Check out our Cisco 675/8 common configuration commands page. Note that Zhonka DSL connections are 'PPP/routed' rather than 'Ethernet/bridged'.  675s work with CAP-encoded circuits only.

What's the difference between CAP and DMT?

Both CAP and DMT are provisioning methods used by Qwest to "turn up" your DSL line - (think of it as the difference between AM and FM radio). CAP is the older technology and all new DSL service from Qwest is provisioned as DMT. From time to time when switching ISPs or DSL speeds, your line may need to be changed from CAP to DMT. Such change will require changing or re-configuring your modem.

Still have questions? Contact Zhonka!

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