Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Distance Restriction Issue For Rural T1 Bandwidth

Here's an oft asked question .... If you wanted to have a T-1 line (or fractional T-1) installed in a very rural location, is the T1 subject to the same distance restrictions as a DSL line is?

The general answer is no. T1 lines do not have a maximum distance "limitation" as does DSL. Network carriers can use multiple T1 repeaters to regenerate (not just amplify) the T1 signal.

However, 2 distance "sensitive" components can increase T1 cost.

First, the T1 access loop. Most local exchange carriers (LECs .... e.g., AT&T/SBC/BellSouth, Qwest and Verizon) charge the ISP for T1 access based on distance between the ISP's router (Internet POP) and the customer's local serving exchange (LEC Central Office). That is why most ISP's T1 quote tools require the customers local phone number, or at least the 1st 6-digits (NPA-NXX) which identify the local CO exchange, in order to caculate the distance to the ISP's closest IP POP (Internet router).

Second, extrordinary construction costs. If the customer location is a great distance from the closest T1-equipped LEC central office, then the LEC must install additional T1 repeaters and possibly incur other transmission equipment / construction costs to reach the customer. In this case, the LEC has 2 options to deal with construction cost: either absorb cost themselves, or pass it on to the ISP who then pass it on to the end-user customer.

Assuming no extrordinary construction cost, there are ISPs that offer flat rate Internet T1s in the $4-500 range per month, anywhere in US, with no distance limitations between ISP POP and customer's serving CO. The flat rate cost includes T1 access loop and 1.5 Mbps Internet port. This can vary though so shop around. Also, don't get enamored with cost over performance and reliability. Cheapest isn't always best. In other words ... be careful of buying from "K-Mart" providers. Always go with reputable carriers (name brand) if the cost is reasonable (they all are coming down in price so this shouldn't be a big issue).

However, for most locations that are under 25 miles to the ISP POP, we are seeing Internet T1 bandwidth prices in the general range of $300-$400 per month +/-.

If you are looking for a T1 in a rural area I strongly suggest using the free search and rate quote support offered by T1 Bandwidth. They'll find you a solution that makes the most business sense ... and their services are no cost to you.

Keep in mind that in some cases a business may need more than a T1 for a bandwidth solution ... such as maybe a DS3 bandwidth line. The same type of concerns and solutions above for T1 also apply.

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