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Author: Les Harper January 2017
T1 connections can download and upload up to 1.5 Mbps which equates to 30 times the speed of a 56K connection. One T1 connection can allow hundreds of users to use it at the same time. However, speed and efficiency drop as more people are online at the same time. The cost of a T1 is fully justified for the reasons below:
INTEGRATED - Data and voice calls are used on the same digital circuit. You choose how many of the 24 channels of the T1 connection are used for voice calls and what is left is for data.
FRACTIONAL - Uses part of the total Bandwidth for a fraction of the full T1 rate.
BURSTABLE - This is a "pay as you use" service. It provides a certain amount of Bandwidth at all times but allows you to use more Bandwidth at peak times.
BONDED - Can offer the maximum Bandwidth of several T1's simultaneously for higher speed and efficiency. It combines individual T1's into one pipeline allowing for more Bandwidth than two individual T1 lines.
COST - T1's are not cheap; however, T1 provides a very reliable connection which has to be paid for in guaranteed uptime. If your business relies heavily on employees and customers to access data and applications, T1 is worth investing.
When choosing an ISP the reliability of the connection is the most important factor but that comes at a price. It is not possible to maintain 100% uptime. However, most providers will aim to provide 99.99% uptime during a year. With a service agreement providers will have to pay their customers for any downtime exceeding the specific agreement.
CONTRACTS - Your T1 contract should be sufficiently detailed with no hidden surprises or costs. Contracts should specify all the costs involved, service length and service agreement. Arrangements are generally for 12,24 or 36 months and may include setup fees, equipment costs, and installation. If the deal terminates early, you may have to pay several hundred dollars up to the contract balance.
STARTUP - When your contract is signed, a telecommunications engineer will visit your location to install and test the primary circuits. The T1 provider will then install, routers connect up your LAN, configures your IP address and firewall. They may also fit any other equipment that you have specified. It can take up to 45 days from signing the contract to be fully operational so you should plan well in advance.
PRICES INTERNET ACCESS - Prices of monthly T1 are usually in the range £250 - $1,000. There may be a similar price for the initial installation. A Fractional T1 will be $100 - $200 per month. Bonded T1's will be priced at several T1 lines so for example 3 Bonded T1 lines will equate to £750 - $3,000 per month approximately. A standard T1 cost would also include the local loop charge for the phone company which is typical $150 upwards. The provider will generally supply most of the equipment such as routers, ethernet cables or T1 Pipes for nil cost or included in the monthly price usually; some setup costs will be waived for the duration of the contract.
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