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Why Choose T1 Lines?
Although cable, DSL and fiber optic Internet services from your local phone or cable company seem fast and reliable, they are not the best choices for businesses and other individuals requiring uninterrupted service and high bandwidth. Businesses that rely on their telephone and Internet services choose to install T1 lines instead of standard phone and Internet services, which are aimed at the consumer market.
What is a T-Carrier Line?
T-carrier lines were first developed by Bell Labs over 50 years ago to handle heavy telephone traffic at communications hubs. These wired connections capable of handling 24 simultaneous telephone calls were made available to businesses in the 1970s but did not gain wide acceptance until the early 1980s. In addition to the higher capacity permitted by these lines, the calls made on them are of higher quality because the lines are not shared with other users. Traffic is routed directly through the telecommunications company to and from the subscribing business without any outside interference.
Years later, when the Internet became more popular and more important to businesses, it was a simple matter to convert T1 service from voice communications to data communications. The maximum bandwidth of a T1 connection is 1.544 Mbps, but the usage can be split between voice and data traffic by dedicating any number of the 24 available channels to a particular service. In recent years, prices for T-carrier service have dropped drastically, and subscribers to the lines have multiplied. Today, T1 is very affordable, and it can be shared with a limited number of users in what is called fractional service.
Primary Uses of T1
T1 voice service is usually used with 23 of the 24 lines open for calls and one line dedicated to caller ID or other data signals. However, this common arrangement has been largely replaced by integrated service that uses half of the available bandwidth for calls and half for Internet data. When even greater bandwidth is required, customers can upgrade to T3 lines, which are bundles of 28 T1 connections working in conjunction to provide a total bandwidth of 44.736 Mbps or 672 voice channels.
The 24 channels of a T1 line makes it perfect for businesses with 20 to 100 employees who all require separate lines. Some businesses use two T1 connections so that the full 24 channels of one can be used for voice while the full bandwidth of the other handles Internet traffic. Some companies may also dedicate channels to particular functions, such as email servers, Web servers, local area networks and virtual private networks.
T1 service runs through the same copper cables used by standard telephone and DSL Internet services. This means that installation is simple and affordable. Most buildings are already wired for T1, so all that has to be done is to reroute the traffic to a dedicated line outside the building. This also means that businesses may be able to subscribe to T1 service in remote locations where DSL and cable Internet are not available. In such locations, the only other offering is satellite Internet, which is notorious for having low bandwidth and unreliable service.
All of the signals sent and received through T1 lines are digital, which means calls and Internet signals are free from noise and other analog disturbances that may affect the quality of signals. In the past, analog signals had to go through expensive converters as they left the subscriber’s facility, but now, these converters are widespread and very affordable, which defrays much of the cost that was associated with the lines in the past. The digital lines are also perfect for VoIP telephone service, which offers high-quality calls and features that are superior to standard telephone service.
T1 Internet Rates
The T1 Internet rate varies for every subscriber because one of the primary factors in cost is the distance from the subscriber’s location to the telecommunications company, which is known as the local loop. If the local loop is greater than two miles, signal repeaters are required, which may increase the cost.
Typically, T1 rates start at around $350 per month and go up to $1,000 per month. However, online T1 brokers now offer comparison services to provide potential customers with the best deals.