A variety of methods of coordinating communications between a plurality of remote units and a central unit to facilitate communications using a frame based discrete multi-tone (DMT) transmission scheme am disclosed. In one aspect of the invention, synchronized quiet times are periodically provided in the upstream communication stream. The synchronized quiet times are used to handle a variety of control type functions such as synchronization of new remote units, transmission channel quality checking and handling data transfer requests. The information received is used to facilitate the dynamic allocation of bandwidth during use. In another aspect, a data request signal may be used to indicate either a desire to transmit at a particular data rate or a desire to transmit a particular amount of information. In the former case, the central unit allocates sufficient sub-channels to the remote unit to facilitate transmission at a requested data rate that is specified in the data request information. In the latter case, the central unit allocates one or more sub-channels for an amount of time sufficient to transmit an amount information that is specified in the data request information.