Thursday, August 31, 2006

....What Is A DS-3?....

To meet the ever expanding need of high end IP throughput for today’s large enterprise, tier-one providers are rapidly expanding their DS-3 foot print making this carrier-grade internet connection a viable option for more and more corporate buyers.

A DS-3, also called a T3, is a dedicated circuit delivered by a LEC via traditional local copper networks and in some cases, over fiber. In its full rate form, a DS-3 has the same capacity of 28 T1s. Like a T1, a DS-3 can be channelized to deliver voice as well as data. When channelized for voice, a DS-3 can hold 672 individual 64 kbps POTs lines. When connected to a tier-one carrier edge router however, it delivers 45 Mbps of bi-directional internet connectivity.

Who Buys A DS-3?

Likely buyers of DS-3 service consist of enterprise size business with high data demands such as large scale VPN, video conferencing, and corporately hosted application servers. Software development firms will often require throughput above and beyond the capability of a T1 to handle client upload and download traffic as buyers log onto FTP servers to access patches and newer versions of their product. Hospitals and clinics who share a large number of electronic images such as MRI will require bit rates in excess of the 1544 kbps available on a standard T1. The print industry is a voracious consumer of bandwidth also as they pass large graphics files to and fro. Local and regional ISP themselves will use DS-3 circuits as the backbone of their consumer oriented broadband delivery and just about any user of tier-one, carrier grade bandwidth that has outgrown T1 and NxT1 options is a likely candidate for DS-3 service.

Are The Port And Loop The Same Speed?

While a DS-3 will always incorporate a full 45 Mbps access Loop, a typical deployment of a DS-3 circuit rarely begins with a full rate Port. Most corporations expanding beyond the limits of their T1 and NxT1 service opt to make the jump to fractional DS-3 such as 6 or 9 Mbps. Often times, a 6 Mbps fractional DS-3 will be more expensive from a monthly recurring cost standpoint than simply bonding more T1s. Corporations who jump from a dual bonded T1 or higher NxT1 speed to a 6 Mbps DS-3 will typically incur a larger monthly price than that of just adding more T1’s. The draw to DS-3 is found in its scalability properties. Upgrades are a matter of resizing the port which will rarely take more than a few days and growth to full 45 Mbps can occur at a pace the corporation is comfortable with.. As users scale above 9 Mbps, the DS-3 begins to become the better priced option also as the cost of CPE required to implement large scale T1 bonding, along with lowering per megabit prices of the DS-3, begin to sway in the favor of the DS-3.

What Are The Different Types Of DS-3 Circuits?

Fractional DS-3

Fractional DS3 circuits can run from speeds of 3 Mbps up to 45 Mbps, the speed of a full DS3. A full DS3 is made of 28 T1s or 672 individual channels, thus a fractional DS3 consists of any number of these channels less than 672. Actually the majority of DS3 connections that are in use by businesses are fractional. For companies that require more bandwidth than an NxT1 can make available, but do not command the 45 Mbps of a DS3, a fractional solution can be a compelling solution. The allure of the fractional option is the lower cost and, most importantly, the ease of upgrading.

As a business grows and requires more bandwidth upgrading, this solution only involves adjusting the port that has a plethora of different bandwidth options. These upgrades can happen relatively quickly and can be scaled up to 45 Mbps. Not to mention the fact that a company can see their per megabit cost dwindle as more bandwidth is added to their fractional solution. As with any major bandwidth decision it’s always important to go with a stable and reliable connection from a Tier 1 carrier. This will ensure you access to the national backbone and that the connection will be backed by a strong Service Level Agreement.

Burstable DS-3

If you want high-speed private line service but do not want to commit to paying for a set bandwidth level, you may want to subscribe to a Burstable DS3 service. With Burstable DS3 service you can burst up to 45 Mbps as your needs dictate. As a Burstable DS3 customer, you always have the full DS3 bandwidth available to you over an unshared, non-fractional 45 Mbps digital leased line. You'll only pay for what you actually use at any given time...up to a full DS3. By tracking your usage trends and patterns you can better decide when is the right time to commit to a full DS3.

Full DS-3

A full DS3 line (also known as a T-3) is an ultra high-speed connection capable of transmitting data at rates up to 45 Mbps. A DS3 line actually consists of 672 individual channels, each of which supports 64 Kb/s. DS3 lines are extremely high bandwidth connections into a carrier's backbone. They typically include SLAs (Service Level Agreements) that guarantee uptime and performance. A DS3 line is also equal to approximately 672 regular voice-grade telephone lines, which is fast enough to transmit full-motion, real-time video, and very large databases over a busy network. A DS3 line is typically installed as a major networking artery for large corporations and universities with high-volume network traffic. Other example applications include large call centers, enterprise wide VoIP and IP PBX systems, Internet service providers, research labs, video conference centers and software development companies. A DS3 is the second fastest, non optical connection offered in North America. A DS3 line is comprised of 28 T1 lines, each operating at total signaling rate of 1.544 Mbps.

You Can Learn More About DS3 Bandwidth Via These Articles:

* Applications For DS3 Bandwidth

* Evaluating Bandwidth Choices - Fractional DS3 vs DS3

* What's The Difference Between DS3 and T3 Bandwidth

* DS3 Bandwidth Is Getting Cheaper - How To Best Take Advantage

Where Can You Get A DS3 Line?

To find the best DS3 bandwidth solution for your specific application we recommend using the free consulting services from You'll receive a comparison of multiple top tier providers available for your location including rate quote, Qos, SLA, and more. They'll even negotiate on your behalf to ensure the most cost effective solution.....prepare all required paperwork.....facillitate install and turn up.....and serve as your advocate for the life of the agreed service contact.


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