Monday, April 16, 2007

Establishing T1 And T3 Connectivity....How Do You Decide From Who?

For T1 and T3 business do you decide who offers the best package of bandwidth and network performance for the money?

A T1 by any other name or even the same name, may not be the same. There is so much more to it than just getting a T1.

First, no matter who you buy your T1 from, most likely the actual circuit (loop, UNE, copper, ...) will be provided by the Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier, (ILEC) which is the RBOC, a Baby Bell in most areas (in the US). Might be Pac Bell, now SBC, er... AT&T (can sure get confusing). But any area with any amount of B&I will have a number of Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLEC), other competitive phone companies. And they are not all the same in their services. They may all offer a T1, but there can be BIG differences.

Look at the contracts offered. A T1 is 1.544M of bandwidth. One contract may state that if you actually use the full bandwidth regularly, they will increase your rate. Another one may state that if the full bandwidth is not available at any time 24x7 you get a rebate. BIG difference. Some will go even further and provide specs on things like packet loss and latency letting you know not only how fast, but how good. Be sure to check SLA's (Service Level Agreements).

Many of the smaller CLECs may have the ability to connect locally to the ILEC and sell you a T1. But how much bandwidth do they own? Some business models allow for a 10 to 1 ratio of sold bandwidth to owned bandwidth. This is guessing that only one out of ten of their users will want to actually use their bandwidth at any time. Others actually have their own "above net" fiber. This way they can haul your traffic above the congestion of the regular Internet to a more local peering point. At the extreme top end of providers, they can guaranty data transfer rates to points around the world.

Dedicated Internet, Voice or WAN availability depends on the exact address of the service location.

For a T3 connection, this can be very expensive to implement. You might first want to see if the building you're in already has any fiber connectivity going into it. If the buliding is new or was part of the 2000 boom they might have some fiber already in the building. Then all you would need to do is find out who the fiber belongs to and pay to light up the line.

T1 and T3/DS3 are not distance limited, but they can be expensive for rural or hard to reach locations. DSL is limited to 12-18K feet and Ethernet over Copper (EoC) to 9K feet from your service address to the closest DSL or EoC equipped Central Office. Cable Internet and fiber providers must already be in your building to provide service --although, they may extend cable/fiber if there are multiple tenant prospects.

Most T1 and Ethernet over Copper providers buy building access (copper pairs or loops) from the local exchange carrier (LEC). If you have a T1 order in process (with any provider), and are experiencing an extended install delay, chances are that the LEC has facilities issues in the area (not enough copper pairs, fiber, cross-connects, etc.) In this case, you can either wait for the LEC to resolve the issue, or order new service from a provider that doesn't use the LEC access network (e.g., cable, fiber or wireless.)

Throw in the options of MPLS, Fiber, Gigabit Ethernet, and Metro Ethernet....and making a decision can get even more confusing.

However, no matter direction you go in you'll want to do a thorough comparison of all available providers to make sure you get the best combination of bandwidth, cost, SLA, QoS, etc to meet your application requirements.

Whatever that solution is it can be pretty time and effort intensive to contact every potential provider in the area, negotiate, decide, do the paperwork, etc.

This service will do all of that for you...and at no cost to you either:

T1 and T3 Connectivity

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Anonymous Fred Welsh said...

The main difference between T1 and T3 is bandwidth and cost. Many businesses should immediately go for T1 because T3 provides enough bandwidth that only a huge corporations will be able to exhaust. I agree that it is crucial to research T1 and T3 lines before purchasing them.

T1 Buyers Guide

2:56 PM  

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