Friday, October 12, 2007

T-1 Bandwidth Suits the SMB

The SMB or Small to Medium size Business is no longer a stand-alone entity, even when independently owned and operated. Business operations from small insurance offices to the ubiquitous QSRs or Quick Service Restaurants have become either Internet enabled or Internet dependent. Why? Because the benefit to cost ratio is so favorable.

The most popular digital communication connection for SMBs is the T1 line. It is a business-grade regulated telecommunication service that has dropped in price over the past few years due to increasing demand and fierce competition among providers. In some cases, you'll pay less than half for T1 service than you did five years ago. How many of your other business expenses have done that?

T-1 bandwidth is a solid 1.5 Mbps in both directions, upload and download. It is a precisely synchronized transmission protocol that can be thought of like a water pipe. Regardless of how much is currently being used, a set capacity is always available. If you need more, it's as simple as bonding in additional T1 lines to multiply your available bandwidth by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or more times.

So how do small and medium businesses employ their T-1 bandwidth? In addition to the obvious applications such as email and Web browsing, many businesses use their T1 lines to order supplies, upload accounting reports to a main office, check inventory at remote warehouses, monitor security cameras and enable telecommuting by home workers or employees on the road.

Many companies have become completely or partially Internet based operations. E-commerce is a typical application, so that customers can order from an online catalog anytime, even when stores are closed. Sales organizations have the ability to "carry the business" to a customer's office. Product information can be displayed at the customer's desk using laptop computers equipped with cellular broadband cards. Stock can be checked and orders entered right on the spot.

Other companies have realized cost savings by integrating their telephone and Internet data through a single T1 line. There are a couple of ways to do this. Integrated T1 Service is a specialized product that allocates T-1 bandwidth between voice and data. Any bandwidth not needed for telephone calls is automatically available for Internet use. One nice feature of Integrated T1 Service is that it works with your current telephone system, even if it is a key telephone system with a half-dozen analog phone lines.

Another approach is to use a single T1 dedicated Internet data line to support a VoIP telephone system and multiple Internet users. The VoIP supplier connects to the in-house iPBX system via the Internet. IP security cameras can be also be accessed via the Internet from managers' homes or remote security services.

Where data security is concerned, SMBs can still use the Internet as a convenient WAN or Wide Area Network. Information is protected from prying eyes by encrypting it during transmission. This approach is often referred to as a VPN or Virtual Private Network.

Another use for T1 lines is for private point to point connections. Very typical is a business with multiple locations that uses P2P T1 lines to interconnect all its telephones and/or send data directly between locations.

Is your small to medium size business in need of upgraded broadband service? Would you like to see if you can get better pricing on the T1 service you are already using? If so, you can find out in less than a minute what services and prices are available for your business location using our T1 Rex automated online T-1 bandwidth search.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

Follow Telexplainer on Twitter