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T1 Internet Lines | Five Key Things to Know When Buying a T1 Line

Five Key Things to Know When Buying a T1 Line

  by Amy Covington, SmartPrice Analyist

You've heard that a T1 line is the way to go and are ready to sign up for service. You aren't quite sure what a T1 is but your friend said that his company uses it and you should too. Your friend, however, works for a larger company and most of their employees are working online simultaneously with highly confidential material. You, on the other hand, have fewer workers whose access to the Internet is not mission critical. Is a T1 still right for your company? Understanding how a T1 works, different T1 options and how it differs from DSL in service quality and price are crucial to selecting the appropriate plan to meet your needs.

What is T1?
A T1 line, or DS1, is a digital transmission link with a capacity of 1.544 Mbps. T1 lines are used to access voice and data, including the public telephone network and the Internet, and to create private networks.

Services Available with T1 Access
A variety of services can be accessed with a T1 line. You can have a dedicated T1 line for voice services, broadband Internet access, integrated broadband and long distance service. What does all this mean in plain English?

Dedicated Voice Services consist of local, long distance (interstate, intrastate and international) and toll free services. The cost of these services varies depending on where you are calling and your carrier. A comparison service like SmartPrice is a great way to get the best deal, give us a call at 1-800-494-5949.

Dedicated Broadband Internet Access provides 1.544 Mbps capacity for both uploading and downloading from the Internet. Average costs in a metro area are around $500, with one-time charges ranging from $500-1,000 contingent upon the work required and equipment needed.

Integrated Service combines two or more of your existing services such as local, long distance and Internet, on one T1 line. You can enjoy significant savings even though you are not using enough of the individual services to justify a dedicated line. The cost for integrated service varies with capacity, features and services. This is a great option for typical companies with 5-20 employees.

SmartPrice is an Independent Organization Providing Customer Advocacy Advice and Service. Call us at 1-800-494-5949 for a quick comparison quote from multiple providers.

What is the difference between a T1 and DSL?
T1 and DSL are both service access technologies. A T1 primarily is a business product, while DSL can service both business and residential customers. T1 is the best choice if immediate responses and reliability are critical to the applications you use on your connection or if you host an in-house email or web servers. If this is not the case, DSL may be an option. DSL can run as fast as T1 but speeds are variable depending on load and design factors. T1s are generally more reliable and have a shorter time to repair.

One of the main differences between a T1 line and DSL is the cost. While DSL is not as fast or reliable as a T1 circuit, it is substantially less expensive. The cost of DSL services has gone down due to deregulation, competition and the decreasing costs of equipment and supplying bandwidth, while T1 lines remain in the higher price range because of the robust technology they utilize. Typically, DSL costs around $120/month for low-end service and up to $500/month for faster service. A T1 line can cost between $1,000-1,500/month depending on who provides it and the customer's location.

How do I know if I need T1 service?
A good way to gauge whether or not you should consider T1 service is to evaluate your current usage and telecom expenses. If you meet any of the following criteria, a T1 line may be the best option for your business:
  • Use 25,000 minutes of long distance a month
  • Your monthly bill averages or exceeds $2,500
  • Have Broadband requirements 128 kbps or more.
  • Host a website onsite.
  • Have a call center with 10+ seats
  • Are experiencing significant growth
How do I find the best deal on a T1 line?
Once you've evaluated what you need in terms of T1 service, shop around and compare prices from multiple carriers. A free comparison service like SmartPrice.com can help you save time and money by comparing plans and rates from dozens of carriers and matching you with a provider with the lowest rates and best plan to suit your telecommunications needs. Give us a call at 1-800-494-5949.

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