Tuesday, November 29, 2005

What is a T-3 Line / DS3 Technology?

A T-3 is high-speed line, powered by DS3 Technology, capable of delivering 44.7 Mbps (44,700K) in both directions. For many years, the fastest, and unfortunately, the most expensive way to connect to the outside world was through a ds1 or T1 connection. DS stands for Digital Signal or Digital Service. Now more commonly used and not near as expensive as it used to be, DS3 or Data Service Level 3 is the connection of choice for many large companies and places that require a lot of bandwidth. DS3 technology is used for T3 lines and allows connections to the Internet to reach speeds of up to 44.736 megabits per second

A large company needs something more than a T1 line and could probably use a T-3 line powered by DS3 technology. The following table shows some of the common line designations:

DS0 - 64 kilobits per second
ISDN - Two DS0 lines plus signaling (16 kilobits per second), or 128 kilobits per second
T1 - 1.544 megabits per second (24 DS0 lines)
T3 - 43.232 megabits per second (28 T1s)
OC3 - 155 megabits per second (84 T1s)
OC12 - 622 megabits per second (4 OC3s)
OC48 - 2.5 gigabits per seconds (4 OC12s)
OC192 - 9.6 gigabits per second (4 OC48s)
T-3 lines are used mainly by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and large companies connecting to the Internet backbone and for the backbone itself.

A T3 connection is a point-to-point dedicated line that provides 672 64-Kbps voice or data channels or in other words 28 T1 lines. A T3 is used to transmit digital signals at 44.736 megabits per second and has enough bandwidth to transmit full-motion real-time video, and very large databases over a busy network. A T3 line would be installed as a major networking channel for a large corporation or university with high volume network traffic.

When you need more capacity, you often have to buy it in the next available increment, which may end up costing more than you want or can afford to spend. Worse yet, with current, "bursty" application requirements, the need for additional bandwidth can often be as temporary as it is critical. By providing flexible capacity, or "bandwidth on demand," service providers can help customers deal with variations in traffic, and with avoiding a high fixed monthly payment. True bandwidth-on-demand services should allow for a wide range in capacity.

Although anybody can purchase a burstable T3, this type of connection can be costly, even as costly as a full 45Mbps connections. Burstable lines can be found at their lowest cost at a colocation facility. At a colocation facility, or "colo", many users share a large OC3 or OC12 pipe. As a customer you will not have to pay for a the fixed cost of such a large pipe, but will have the benefit of being able to burst up to very high speeds if necessary. If you need the reliability of a large pipe fur busty traffic but don't have the capital consider a colo. If you have a steady volume and are consistent, you may consider keeping services in house and going with a T3 connection. Whether you're considering a colocation facility or a T3 to the door, make sure you use a broker to help guide you through the providers and plans available. We recommend the free service from DS3-Bandwidth.com.


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