doubt regd. internet transmission speed

hi randy,
this is sudhakar.
i have a doubt in data transmission in internet.
doubt is:

speed of transmission in our telephone line is:
64Kbps

speed of transmission between Digital Terminal Equipment (i.e) Computer and Digital Communication Equipment (i.e) Modem is: 20Kbps!

My question is:
If this is the case then how the speed of transmission can be mentioned and be as 64Kbps. It would be very slow and irrespective of the distance it travels?

Every system connected to net through modem would be very slow even if they go for high speed modem's or transmission lines.
Kindly answer this question or forward this question to ur known people. If u could give some internet sites that give info regd it would be helpful.
sorry for dragging my question too long.
grateful if u could find and pass the answer to me as quickly as possible.

sudhakar