Monday, March 07, 2011

DS3 Bandwidth Facts

To decide whether DS3 bandwidth fits your organization’s network requirements you really need to know more about it. Just what is a DS3 circuit, what can it do, and what does it cost?

First, DS3 is a dedicated network connection supporting data rates of about 44.736 megabits per second. This is usually rounded up to 45 Mbps for discussion sake. For general comparison a DS3 is 28 times higher than T1, since each T1 can carry 1.544 megabits per second. So technically, a DS3 runs 28 T1 lines alongside one another, and that takes extra equipment and software to work properly. To break it down further, a DS3 line consists of 672 individual channels, each of which supports 64 Kbps. The signals used are called Digital Signal 3 or DS3. Thus the “name”.

You can further delineate DS3 into 3 categories …. Fractional DS3, Full DS3, and Burstable DS3.

Fractional DS3 – deployment of a fractional DS3 delivers the obvious …. a fraction of DS3 bandwidth rather than the full 45 Mbps. For example, you can use any fraction of bandwidth up to the full 44.736 Mbps supported by DS3. Commonly fractional DS3s are deployed in increments of 5 or 6 Mpbs.

Full DS3 – again this delivery rate should be obvious. A full DS3 circuit will provide internet access via an unlimited DS3 connection at about 45 Mbps. This configuration will meet the needs of most businesses with high bandwidth requirements.

Burstable DS3 – As opposed to fractional or full DS3, a Burstable DS3 provides the most flexible high-bandwidth solution. This option is best where the user may have internet traffic patterns with periodic requirements for higher bandwidth. This configuration offers the ability of paying for a lower, more predictable level of bandwidth, without removing the capability to burst above the committed bandwidth level when needed.

Besides the typical use by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) connecting to the Internet backbone (both wired and wireless carriers), DS3 lines are still commonly used by many organizations with high volume network traffic requirements. Some of these include high-traffic Web sites, medium to large Web-hosting companies, medical centers, call centers, universities and government offices. Examples of applications needing this level of support by these types of users include transmitting complex multi-media (such as full-motion real-time video), sharing very large databases over a busy network, and supporting high demand VoIP and other data traffic.

The price for DS3 bandwidth has dropped dramatically in recent years. On average, current costs, depending on location and provider, will start in the range of $2,000/month. However, these price points are under constant pressure due market competition and the fact that equipment costs and the cost of supplying the bandwidth have decreased for providers. One factor that will continue to impact prices from falling much further is the "last mile" affect, or the connection from the users premise to the service providers' POP (Point of Presence).

DS3 bandwidth is a proven, reliable, and cost effective choice for many network applications. Now that you know more about what it is, what it does, and what it may cost you … you can make a better informed decision on whether a DS3 circuit is the best option for you.

For assistance finding the right dedicated bandwidth fit for your organization’s needs …. and to save you time, money, and aggravation … I strongly recommend using the free help available to you here: DS3 Bandwidth

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