Multiple T1 line networks

John Shepler explains the benefits of private T1 lines.

Private T1 lines are superior to "best effort" digital lines such as DSL or cable connecting to the Internet, and...

even dedicated Internet connections. Why? Because you have exclusive use of the network.

Say your organization has a main office and a dozen substantial locations for retail sales, design, warehousing, manufacturing, medical or business services. It's vital that all locations are interconnected on a real-time basis with dependable bandwidth to share files and perhaps telephone communications. Within a building or small campus, everyone is on the same LAN. It makes no difference if they are in side-by-side offices or on different floors. On the network, everyone is right next door. Wouldn't it be perfect if that network included all locations?

T1 point-to-point private lines give you the ability to extend your network across town or even internationally. These are also known as WAN connections to complement your local or LAN connections. What distinguishes T1 lines for this purpose is proven reliability, guaranteed service, almost universal availability, and exclusive fixed bandwidth. These "transparent" data pipes give you the ability to engineer your network to run exactly that way you want.

T1 lines are a proven technology. Developed in the 1950's for use by the telephone companies, the T1 line is the basic digital line service for business applications. It has a fixed 1.5 Mbps bandwidth in each direction. That bandwidth can be allocated to network data, converged VoIP and computer data, or segregated into 24 individual standard telephone channels. If you need more bandwidth, T1 lines can be bonded to create typically 2x to 9x the individual line capacity. Usually higher bandwidth needs that these are assigned to DS3 circuits at 45 Mbps for cost reasons. However, in remote locations where there is no installed DS3 service, it might be cheaper to install multiple bonded T1 lines to get the required bandwidth.

What is a private line? It's essentially a T1 line that connects directly point-to-point from one business location to another. It's called a private line to distinguish it from an Internet connection, which is shared by multiple users outside of your organization. Can you use Internet connections to link your operations? Sure. Generally this is done by using VPN software that encrypts your data to create secure private "tunnels" within the Internet. If your primary use is Internet access and have an occasional need to send files between locations, this might be the best way to go. Order an Internet T1 line for each location and set up a VPN for your organization's private data transfers.

What an Internet connection doesn't do is guarantee your bandwidth between locations. Your T1 lines will always run at 1.5 Mbps, but the rest of the Internet is truly a public thoroughfare. Congestion occurs and things slow down at random. There is no ability to engineer QoS for voice or video. For email or non-time critical data exchanges this may not matter. It's critical for high quality phone service and real-time applications such as remote control or simulation.

A private T1 line between locations is an empty pipe until you fill it. It's perfect for interconnecting PBX telephone systems or local area networks. You have complete control of priority for different types of services, so you can ensure real time video conferencing that doesn't break up or VoIP phone calls that aren't garbled or dropped.

Learn more about high reliability voice, data or video connectivity among two or more locations at T1 Rex.

John Shepler has been a published writer for over 30 years. With a background in electronics engineering technology, he has worked in a variety of industries including radio broadcast, aerospace and manufacturing. Involved in telecommunications since 1998, he combines his interests in writing and technology with and T1 Rex's Business Telecom Explainer.
Copyright 2003 - 2006 by John E. Shepler
Contact John at [email protected]

T1 Rex's Business Telecom Explainer offers easy to understand information about complex telecommunications and networking technology. T1 Rex explains how T1 lines work, VoIP telephone, PBX, virtual private networks, digital audio transport, Wi-Fi & WiMax, fiber optic carriers and other business telecom services.
This was last published in October 2007

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