A T1 circuit is a dedicated point-to-point connection from your business, via a phone company, to your Internet service provider. T1s are usually running on legacy copper lines at a maximum speed of approximately 1.5 Mbps (Megabits per second).
What is a bonded T1?
A bonded T1 is simply put two or more T1s running together – providing a maximum of 1.5Mbps incrementally. So for example, if you have 2 bonded T1s the maximum speed is 3Mbps and for 3 bonded T1s the maximum speed is 4.5 Mbps and so forth
Who should consider a T1?
A T1 line could be perfect for a business needing reliable and low-latency Internet connection to run services like VoIP (Voice Over IP) for somewhere around 30 users maximum. If you have more users a bonded T1 is usually required. A T1 is the preferable for services like VoIP because the bandwidth it is dedicated and is not affected by other users on the network, unlike competing technologies like cable or DSL where Internet speeds and reliability can fluctuate because of other users on the network. A T1 contract usually come with a SLA (Service Level Agreement) where the provider will guarantee uptime and throughput speeds.
How much does a T1 cost?
A service provider usually charge between $200 and $300 per month for a single T1 connection and double that for a bonded T1
T1 scalability and bandwidth needs
T1 Internet connections used to be the golden standard for reliable business Internet connectivity – but times and technology has changed. Today, especially with the wide business-usage of cloud-based and streaming video application, the demand for more bandwidth quickly makes the limited bandwidth provided by a T1 obsolete and or prohibited by price. Some companies elect to run only mission critical applications (like a VoIP system) on the T1 and the get a secondary Internet connection (like DSL or cable) to use for general Internet connectivity and other applications, as T1s simply are not scalable enough for the bandwidth-intensive applications of today.
There are mainly two competing technologies that will provide the same dependability and SLAs, but at far greater speeds and at a lower cost.
The first one is fiber. Fiber (FiOS) is a broadband Internet connection that uses fiber optic cables (thin glass fibers) to access the Internet. Data is through laser-light pulses, and, as a result, transmission over significant distances does not impact the quality of the signal as it would other types of broadband. The main problem with fiber is that the infrastructure build-out is very expensive to install, so the service availability is usually only limited to densely populated areas where Internet Service Providers can sign up a lot of subscribers on existing infrastructure.
Point-to-point fixed microwave wireless
The other alternative is point-to-point fixed wireless (also called microwave Internet) where strategically placed antennas, coupled with microwave technology, the signal is sent through the air directly to your place of business. Microwave Internet is extremely reliable and has low latency, making it perfect for VoIP systems or other mission-critical cloud applications. Microwave Internet provides dedicated bandwidths of anywhere between 3Mbps and 1Gbps for a fraction of what you would expect to pay for T1 connections with the same speeds. Microwave Internet connections are the perfect choice for businesses that do not have access to an existing fiber infrastructure.