Friday, April 18, 2008

Cure The Bulging T1 Line

It wasn't that long ago you leased your first T1 line. It was pretty amazing. A full 1.5 Mbps for both upload and download. Excellent reliability and a service level agreement to make sure you got fast attention if there ever was a problem. It seemed a bit expensive, but well worth it. You thought that you were set indefinitely. But lately that super fast data connection is just poking along. Now what will you do?

You're not the first business to experience a bulging T1 line. It's becoming more and more common these days. Why? Business processes have changed. Broadband Internet access was once a casual activity. You might use it for email, occasional research, and placing small orders for specialty items. Now your business activity depends on being connected. Your online presence may even be bringing in more revenue than your bricks and mortar operation. Software as a Service frees you from the expense and time consuming maintenance needed for purchased software packages. But now all your inquiries and transactions traverse the Internet to your SaaS provider. Purchasing, inventory management, and video conferencing all need reliable Internet access. Sadly, they all seem to want it at the same time.

This is how you can have all the bandwidth in the world one year and be chocking on packet congestion the next. The faster that business activities become, the more that interaction with customers and vendors gets to be in real time, the more you load up your bandwidth pipe. At some point, things slow down so much that productivity tanks and tempers flare. At that point you are long past the need for an upgrade.

No need to wince. As your need for bandwidth has been increasing, the marketplace has been active in increasing the availability of that bandwidth. Prices have come down due to increased competition and more efficient ways to find the best prices from available service providers. So much so that you might be able to double your current bandwidth for the same lease price you committed to several years ago.

Bandwidth increases are easier than you think. Sure, you might have been told at the time that T1 service was the fastest link you could get at your business location. For years it was. But now it's common to bond T1 lines together so you can have 3 Mbps, 6 Mbps, or even 9 Mbps without major construction costs. An even newer approach is Ethernet over Copper. You keep the copper telecom lines you are currently using. The Ethernet service provider swaps out the termination equipment with newer technology that can support higher bandwidths. You might be able to get a 10 Mbps standard Ethernet service or even 100 Mbps Fast Ethernet, depending on how close you are to the carrier's facilities.

If fiber optic service is an option, the sky is the limit. Once again, don't be put off by the pricing you remember when you first considered this option. DS3 (45 Mbps) and OC3 (155 Mbps) service have also dropped in price considerably. Fast Ethernet (100 Mbps) and Gigabit Ethernet (1000 Mbps) are actually very viable for companies that need high bandwidth connections to the Internet or as a private network among multiple facilities.

The cure for the bulging T1 line? It starts with a quick GeoQuote (tm) service pricing and availability check. Don't be surprised if you find that you can get more bandwidth for less money right now.

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

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