Thursday, November 25, 2010

How A T1 Line Works

When trying to convince your boss that your company needs T1 bandwidth to help solve a network issue and meet business function requirements …. it comes in handy to know just how a T1 line works. Without that understanding you’re more likely to lose the argument and remain stuck with whatever dinosaur set-up you’re trying to move away from. As your company’s go-to IT person … you can’t afford to lose those battles.

You already know that there are many flavors of T1. But you need not go into that with your boss. If necessary you can adequately describe in simple terms the difference between fractional, full, and bonded … as well as the general aspects of point-to-point and MPLS architecture. For the purposes of making your main point … just stick with describing the basic single point-to-point T1 line.

For a generic point-to-point T1 circuit, part by part, generically speaking it works like this from the premises back.

Your router CSU/DSU DS1 signal connects to a SmartJack aka a Highcap Remote Unit (HRU) mounted in the Network Customer Terminating Equipment (NCTE) also known as the mounting which converts the DS1 signal to a T1 for transport.

From there it is connected by either a single pair or two depending on the technology utilized to the central office repeater shelf where a Highcap Line Unit (HLU) is installed which converts the T1 signal back to a DS1 and also provides 186 or 130 volts over the copper pair(s) to power the HRU.

From the CO repeater shelf the DS1 signal along with 27 others are passed to a Digital Access Crossconnect System (DACS) or muxed up to a DS3 and then to the DACS which provides mapping of the DS1 signals and remote testing capabilities.

Out of the DACS the signal is most commonly a DS3 or higher and passed to another MUX along with other DS3’s for conversion to an OCx for interoffice transport.

At the other end the process is reversed.

As far as a T1 switching device at the provider end … depending on the type of circuit, there are fast packet switches, frame relay switches and routers.

Now your boss may turn glassy eyed halfway through your technical diatribe above …. but that’s alright. You have shown a thorough knowledge of the workings behind what you want … a T1 line based network. That should be enough to impress upon him or her that you know what you’re talking about from the technical side. From there … all you need to do is address the cost benefit. For that simply show the impact of your current poor performing network on the core functions of the business …. compared to the improvement(s) gained with the network architecture you’re recommending.

If you need assistance with setting up the right solution for your voice/data network applications …. take advantage of the free help available at DS3 Bandwidth. They can guide you through the process whether it’s T1 line based, DS3 circuit, SONET, Business Ethernet, or wireless …. including MPLS, Point-to-Point, bonded, burstable, and more.

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