The gold standard for small business wireline services is T1. These lines are available nearly everywhere, offer a rock solid bandwidth with equal speed for both upload and download, are highly reliable and get fast service in the rare event of a problem. They also give you options for secure connection between business locations and digital phone lines for your PBX telephone system that aren’t offered by other types of digital services.
But what about the cost? T1 lines were once the exclusive domain of the telephone companies to connect their switching centers. Later, they were offered to businesses at prices only larger companies could afford. Today, T1 lines are so prolific and there is so much competition between service providers that T1 lines are affordable by nearly all small to medium size businesses that have their own business locations. Home offices and residential users don’t generally qualify for this service.
Let’s have a look at what a T1 line can do for your business and then see how to find providers and prices quickly and easily.
The most popular use for T1 lines today is for dedicated access to the Internet. This is a broadband service that offers 1.5 Mbps for both upload and download. If you need more than that, you can order additional T1 lines and have them bonded together to create one large bandwidth connection.
Note that this is called dedicated access. What that means is that you always have the full bandwidth of the line available for your exclusive use. What many people don’t realize is that DSL and Cable services share their available bandwidth among many subscribers to keep the cost low. Unfortunately, if others are heavily using the Internet your available line speed will slow, sometimes to a crawl. T1 is always available at full bandwidth.
Another configuration for T1 lines is for private point to point connections. This is like having a direct digital wire linking two business locations. There is no connection to the Internet. It’s an empty pipe that is for your exclusive use to upload and download data between locations. This service is particularly popular for linking branch offices to headquarters.
Finally, T1 lines can be ordered in a special configuration called T1 PRI or ISDN PRI. This is a telephone service. A single T1 PRI line can bring in up to 23 separate telephone lines plus Caller ID service. Many call centers, sales offices and medium size office businesses use T1 PRI as a lower cost connection for their PBX telephone systems than bringing in multiple business phone lines.
There is also a special service called Integrated T1 that combines up to 12 telephone lines and broadband Internet service on one T1 line. Small sales offices can often save money by using this service in place of separate telephone and broadband connections.
So, how do you find a T1 line for your business? The best way is to use the Shop For T1 real-time quote engine. It’s an online service that’s available 24/7. You simply enter some basic information about your company and the program will automatically generate a list of T1 line services and their prices for your location. Be sure to specify if you want high speed Internet, dedicated voice service or integrated voice and data by using the drop down menu for service type. If you wish, an expert consultant will be happy to go over the entire range of options available for your location and make recommendations. There’s no charge for this service.