Dedicated T1 service has been a core offering of ours since the beginning of the company, and is still one of our most popular services among businesses who require mission-critical Internet access. Even with other lower cost, higher bandwidth services available, many firms still choose to trust their networks to T1 connections.
The biggest benefit to T1 service has always been it’s reliability. Businesses know that with a 99.99% uptime guarantee, T1 lines will provide their network and employees with stable Internet connectivity. Multi-location clients have also been able to use dedicated T1 lines to build private inter-office Wide Area Networks that operate seamlessly in their corporate environments.
Many of our customers have opted for configurations that include multiple T1 lines, set in a few different scenarios. Some clients have opted to bond T1 connections, providing bandwidth in increments of 3M, 4.5M or 6M, with services up to 12M available. Providing T1 service in this format has been extremely beneficial to businesses who need a large amount of available bandwidth for uploads – so architecture firms, graphic design houses, and manufacturing companies have all been able to see success with bonded T1 service.
Other customers have opted for load balancing setups, in which multiple T1 lines share the traffic for their network. Firms that have a large amount of users, but don’t normally push large files, have benefitted the most from using load balanced T1 service. In some geographic areas where shared services like DSL or cable modem aren’t available, T1 services have been able to keep businesses connected and stable with guaranteed bandwidth, a feature not found on lower cost shared line connections.
One particular configuration we’ve helped a number of clients set up is that where a T1 line shares traffic with different Internet service, such as a T1 line used in combination with a cable modem. Through a firewall that supports multiple external links (such as a WatchGuard), we can configure the customer’s traffic so basic services like web surfing can go out over the cable modem, which mission critical traffic like VPN connections and HR/payroll software can use the T1 line. This way, web surfers can use the higher bandwidth shared services provide while the processes the business requires to be up and running benefit from the reliability of the T1 service.
Some companies have advertised the fact that T1 service, in comparison to other types of commercial Internet access, are slow by today’s standards. For a firm that’s pushing heavy traffic comprised of large files all day long, that’s absolutely true. But what many of those ads don’t say is that many of the higher speed/lower cost services simply don’t have the uptime guarantees, support levels, monitoring, and downtime credits that T1 service offers. Again, for the reliability factor, T1 service is still one of the most popular types of Internet connections for businesses whose daily activities rely on the Internet.
While expanded services like Metro Ethernet or Ethernet over Copper are becoming more popular, they are not available in all areas (and sometimes where they are available, they may entail a very large buildout cost to the customer). Where they aren’t available, and even in some cases when they are, T1 can still provide the dedicated Internet access many businesses need on a day in, day out basis.