There are several factors to consider when selecting a T1 Service Provider. A T1 Internet connection (often referred to as DS1) is the most commonly used high speed digital transmission line for small to medium-sized businesses (SMB) in the United States. The bandwidth of a T1 is 1.544 Mbps for both uplink and downlink.First determine what you or your company needs and why. Many companies or individuals are looking for faster Internet service. Others may be limited in the amount of data allowed per month by their current provider. This is especially true with satellite Internet service providers.Second, consider which services would be of most advantage for your needs. Although not generally thought of, a T1 line can usually provide data service, voice service, or both. It is essential to consider how many users need to supported and how many phone lines are in use simultaneously. Also the types of traffic sent over the Internet and/or the number and duration of phone calls made are important factors. And if needing higher bandwidth applications including voice over IP (VOIP) or remote access to company or Internet resources using graphical interfaces, a T1 or even multiple T1’s may be required. Can the T1 service provider support these needs adequately?Another factor is security. If numerous locations need to be serviced, what configuration would be most advantageous? In some cases a private network would be best. Security technology or private lines may be used to make either “real” or “virtual” private networks between a company’s locations. In a virtual private network (VPN), it might be possible, by using a single vendor’s backbone, to keep all traffic off the public Internet.Most companies or individuals looking for a T1 service provider are facing either slow or unreliable Internet connections. In either case the present Internet service provider (ISP) may be providing inadequate service Normally, a T1 service provider will provide a service level agreement (SLA), with assured data rates, latency, and reliability.For instance, many DSL providers will be able to offer an upgrade to a T1. This could be crucial if there is time remaining on an existing service contract for DSL or cable. Of the major DSL providers, including AT&T, Verizon and Qwest, this may be a consideration, although the largest vendors’ T1 pricing is usually not as competitive as lesser know companies. There are many little known T1 providers that provide the same or better service as better known larger companies.Some SMBs already have a T1 for either data service or voice or possibly both. Have the incumbant’s service levels been adequately met? How has the vendor responded or fixed problems on their own and kept all parties notified of down time? If choosing a different vendor, how is the new vendor’s SLA different or improved?For the higher levels of service, the pricing escalates a great deal, over DSL, cable or satellite Internet service providers. For instance, current DSL or cable pricing starts as low as $12.95 per month. T1 service providers usually charge about $400 per month on average. In major cities, the rates can be as low as around $250 as of this writing. Prices continue to decrease annually as competition improves.There are many items to take into account when choosing the best T1 Service Provider. A telecommunications broker can advise which T1 provider is best according to individual company requirements, as well assist with the implementation process.
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