Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Ultra-Reliable Internet Service

The Internet is a two edged sword when it comes to business. It's a hugely success and prolific network, connecting just about everybody to everybody else on the planet. It seems like such a logical way to connect your office with your suppliers, customers, corporate headquarters, plant sites, warehouses, retail locations, etc. High speed access is usually available at decent rates and inexpensive VPN software will give you the security you need on a public network. So what's the other edge of the sword?

In the case of DSL and Cable modem Internet access, the fly in the ointment is often reliability. Just when you have an important file to download, a website to update or an order to enter, the network goes down. Often it's only a for an annoying few minutes, but at other times your broadband Internet service can be out for hours. Since DSL service comes in on a telephone line, why isn't it as reliable as dial tone?

The problem has to do with the way that Internet service is treated by carriers. It's a shared access, with you and a hundred or a thousand others connecting to the Internet through a multiplexer. It's also an "information" service, which means that there really aren't any regulations guaranteeing the performance of your connection. It's not priced like a critical resource nor is it treated like one by the service providers.

If reliability of service is absolutely critical to your business, then what you need is a carrier quality service that gives you a dedicated connection to the Internet and a service level agreement to make sure that it gets immediate attention in the rare instances when something goes wrong. There is such a service available. It is called T1 dedicated Internet service.

The truth is that the Internet itself is a very reliable network. The Internet was originally conceived by the military to provide reliable communications that couldn't be destroyed by war or natural disaster. The thousands of trunk lines and routers distributed around the world ensure that if one part of the network is lost, other pieces will detect the loss and re-route traffic via available paths.

The problem with reliable Internet service comes from the casual way that it is treated by telephone and cable companies. In order to sell the service, the cost has to be in the neighborhood of $35 to $50 or most people won't buy it. To keep the cost down, they have to share their facilities among hundreds or thousands of users and deal with problems as time permits.

T1 dedicated Internet service replaces the weak link in the system which is the connection from your location to the local telephone office and gets rid of the multiplexer that shares the connection. Instead, you get a highly reliable T1 line from your location to the phone company office and then via T1 or fiber optic carrier to the Internet service provider of your choice. All of these connections are the same high quality connections that the telephone companies use for their critical lines, so the reliability is built-in. The service level agreement is a contract between you and the carrier that guarantees a level of availability and specifies remedies if you lose your connection.

So, what does this ultra-reliable Internet service cost? Probable less than you might expect, but certainly more than the services designed for consumers. In highly populated business areas, you might get T1 service for $300 to $400 a month. There is no one set price. T1 lines are engineered for each particular location served. The farther you are from the closest telco office, the more it costs. You can almost always get T1 dedicated Internet service in U.S. locations, even out in rural areas. That's seldom true for DSL, cable, or wireless Internet services which tend to have little coverage beyond the city limits.

If you have a serious business application in need of the highest reliability in Internet service or need dedicated point to point data connections between locations, why not discuss your application with our Shop For T1 consultants and get a price quote for the high quality service you really want? You can get a quick but accurate automated T1 price quote using the form available at T1 Rex.

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

Follow Telexplainer on Twitter