The basic interoffice connection is the point to point T1 line. The term point to point means just what you think it does. This is a circuit that runs between two locations only. Actually, the connection is made from one business location to the nearest telco central office, then from central office to central office, and finally from the far end central office to the other location.
Why not just run wires directly between locations and avoid the routing through the central offices? You could do that, but unless the buildings are within sight of each other and you own the land or right of way in-between, it’s going to be prohibitively expensive. The reason that T1 lines are so affordable is because all the necessary elements needed to make the connection are already in place.
T1 lines are provisioned over common twisted pair copper telephone copper wiring found in multiple pair bundles called binder groups. This copper cable is run to nearly every business location during construction, since almost all business locations order landline telephone service. T1 service is delivered on 2 pair in the binder. Who owns the binder cable? It’s the incumbent local exchange carrier, the local phone company, that installed it. They actually make the service installation, although the lines may be leased and sold by a competitive service provider.
Those copper links to the central offices are often called the “first mile” or “last mile” connections. In between, the T1 signal may travel on copper or be multiplexed on a fiber optic service for long haul transmission. It might even be sent through a MPLS network owned by the competitive provider who has your T1 line contract. By the way, that MPLS service can be set up to connect 3 or more locations into a multipoint to multipoint network so they can all communicate with each other.
From a user standpoint, you can think of your T1 line as a dedicated digital “pipe” with a bandwidth of 1.5 Mbps. There are no usage limits. This is your line full time. You can send as much or as little data through that pipe between locations as will fit at 1.5 Mbps. It’s inherently more secure than sending files over the Internet because you are the only user of that particular connection. You can elect to encrypt your data during transmission to make the connection even more secure.
T1 lines can carry voice, data, video or some combination of these. Most often, T1 lines are used as digital data connections for sending files between locations. They can also be used to provide branch offices with access to central servers and databases at headquarters. If 1.5 Mbps isn’t enough bandwidth, you can order bonded T1 to increase that to 3, 4.5, 6, 7.5, 9 or more Mbps.
Another popular use for point to point T1 lines is to interconnect PBX telephone systems. Each office may have its own self-sufficient phone system. When you tie them together with a T1 or T1 PRI line, your offices can talk to each other without having to pay any toll charges to the phone company.
Do you have a need to connect two or more business locations? Check out prices and availability for point to point T1 lines and other appropriate telecom services.
Note: Photo of Empire State Building courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.