Monday, November 21, 2005

Evaluating Bandwidth Choices....Fractional T-1 vs T1

Looking for bandwidth? That can be a daunting and frustrating task even in the best of situations. There's lots to consider in order to make the right decision for your needs. Below you'll find some help when evaluating Fractional T1 vs T1. Factors covered include Technology, Speed, Description, Application, Pros, Cons, and Cost.

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Technology: Fractional T1

Speed: 128 Kbps - 1.544 Mbps

Description: Same service as a full T-1 provisioned in increments of 64 Kbps. A full T-1 is 1.544 Mbps or 24 channels, Fractional T-1s start at 128 Kbps or 2 channels.

Application: Used to connect a company to the Internet when less than a full T-1 is required. Circuit runs from the location into the Internet.

Pros: Provides access straight into the carrier's backbone. Unlike DSL and Cable Modem, there is no aggregation. Fractional T-1s have unused channels which can be turned up on demand.

Cons: Setup and monthly costs can be prohibitive.

Costs: Fractional T1 cost starts at around $100-200 for a stable, reliable system (e.g. from a Tier 1 provider). A required router is additional unless provided as a "freebie" incentive by the vendor. Price climbs as distance from the providers Central Office (CO) increases. However....the pricing for these connections varies widely depending on the carrier, location of service and the application for which the connection is being used.

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Technology: T1

Speed: 1.544 Mbps

Description: A 24 channel cirucit that can be used for Frame Realy, Private Line, VPN or, most commonly, Internet access.

Application: Connects a company's LAN into the Internet or carrier's Frame Realy network.

Pros: Provides access straight into the carrier’s backbone. Only slightly more expensive than a Fractional T-1. 99% availability in U.S. Very reliable.

Cons: Setup and monthly costs can be prohibitive.

Costs: A full T1 obviously will cost more than a Fractional T1. Expect cost to start at around a $400 for a stable, reliable system (e.g. from a Tier 1 provder). A required router is additional unless provided as a "freebie" incentive by the vendor. Price climbs as distance from the providers Central Office (CO) increases. However....the pricing for these connections varies widely depending on the carrier, location of service and the application for which the connection is being used. For example...Tier 1 providers may cost more than local/regional Tier2 and Tier 3 providers but are much more stable and reliable. Also, expect to pay more if you are in a rural area or need integrated (voice and data combined) or bonded (multiple T1s bound in 1 network....option vs full DS3) T1 service.

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Technology: E1 (Europe)

Speed: 2.048 Mbps

Description: The European equilivent of the T-1.

Application: Connects a company's LAN into the Internet or carrier's Frame Realy network.

Pros: Provides access straight into the carrier’s backbone. Very reliable.

Cons: Setup and monthly costs can be prohibitive.

Costs: A full E1 usually costs more than it's North American counterpart. Expect cost to start at around a $800-1000 for a stable, reliable system (e.g. from an equivalent Tier 1 provder). A required router is additional unless provided as a "freebie" incentive by the vendor (not common in Europe). Price climbs as distance from the providers Central Office (CO) increases. However....just as with the North American version the pricing for these connections varies widely depending on the carrier, location of service and the application for which the connection is being used.

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