Monday, December 22, 2008

T1 Bonding Buys Breathing Room

One of the toughest business situations comes when you get caught in the big squeeze of needing more resources but not having the budget to get them. This is a common situation when it comes to network bandwidth, especially WAN (Wide Area Network) bandwidth. You start out with something modest, figuring you'll upgrade when the demand picks up. By that time, revenues should also pick up to offset the costs of higher bandwidth. But these are unusual times. Your business activity may be increasing at the same time revenue growth is lagging. Is there any way to satisfy employee and user needs without inviting financial disaster?

A good approach may be incrementalism, and just in time incrementalism at that. A lot of companies that found themselves outgrowing their T1 lines would go ahead and upgrade to DS3 service to ensure adequate bandwidth. But DS3 (45 Mbps) is a huge increase over T1 (1.5 Mbps). In fact, the telco standards provide for multiplexing 28 T1 lines into a single T3 line, or DS3 service over fiber optic transport. The price differential is also significant, running into the thousands of dollars per month for DS3 versus hundreds for T1. Isn't there something in-between?

There is now. It's called T1 line bonding and it's pretty much what it sounds like. Two or more T1 lines are connected in a way that their bandwidth combines. To the user, WAN bandwidth increases by 1.5 Mbps for each T1 line included in the bonding process. For example, 2x bonding gives you 3 Mbps, 3x is 4.5 Mbps, 4x provides 6 Mbps, 5x is 7.5 Mbps, 6x gives you 9 Mbps and so on. There's a practical limit to this, but usually what happens is that DS3 or another service becomes cost competitive by the time you've bonded 10 or 12 T1 lines together. Sometimes even fewer.

What other service would be competitive? The other attractive approach is Ethernet over Copper or EoC. This technology also "bonds" multiple copper pair to create a high composite bandwidth. It's not the same protocol as T1 and uses different equipment at each end. However, EoC can easily deliver 10 Mbps and sometimes 45 Mbps over ordinary telco multipair cable. The one rub with EoC is that it's performance is directly related to distance from the Carrier's POP or Point of Presence. The service area is usually limited to a few miles from the POP, limiting this type of service to metropolitan areas.

Bonded T1 has fewer restrictions. T1 line service was designed to cover the nation and is almost universally available. If you can get one line, you can almost always get more. Plus, you don't need to buy more bandwidth than you need or can afford. If you are hitting the limit of a single T1 line now, order 2x bonded service and you've got a lot of breathing room. As time goes on, you may wish to order higher level bonded service until you get to the point where something like DS3 or Fast Ethernet makes sense, assuming it is available for your location.

How much bandwidth can you get for your budget? You may be surprised to learn than T1 lines prices from competitive carriers have plummeted recently. Your cost for double the bandwidth may well be less than twice what you are currently paying. In fact, if you've been paying top dollar for your T1 service, you may be able to double your bandwidth at the same lease rate you are paying now. How much bandwidth can you get for the money? Find out now using our instant online T1 quote service engine.

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

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