telecom consulting servicesMy home office Verizon Fios internet connection provides 70 Mbps down and 35 Mbps up.  That level of bandwidth would require a sophisticated Ethernet connection, costing thousands of dollars each month, only six years ago.

To put those speeds further in perspective, when I first started selling internet access, customers would pay a premium for an ISDN line that offered 128k.  When DSL first came out, we were reluctant to quote prices for 768k because we couldn’t believe it was available and 70 Mbps is almost 100 times faster.

With the availability of internet speeds this high, why would any business use more traditional internet connections like T1?

You don’t really get what you pay for.  I’m supposed to get 70 and 35 Mbps but the last time I conducted a speed test the results were 10.34 down and 6.87 Mbps up.  When I called Verizon, they explained that they couldn’t promise anything unless my computer was hardwired to their modem.  That seems like an effective out for Verizon because everyone connects wirelessly these days.  Imagine hardwiring your iPad to your cable or DSL modem.

Bandwidths achieved with T1 and Ethernet are much closer to what you pay for.  That’s because those services aren’t as over subscribed as broadband services are.  If you’re paying for 4.5 Mbps and receiving less than 4, your provider is going to issue a trouble ticket to resolve the problem.  I’m receiving less than 20% of what I’m paying for with my Fios connection and can’t get past first tier tech support.

There are no Service Level Agreements (SLA) with DSL or cable.  If your business cable or DSL internet connection goes down, the phone and cable companies promise to have a tech out by next day.  If it’s residential service, it could take longer.  T1 and Ethernet internet connections come with SLAs promising a tech visit within 4 hours.

Pricing for T1 is very reasonable when you bundle it with voice services.  A 4.5 Mbps integrated T1 (3 x T1) with a slew of phone lines and long distance minutes can be had for what a 1.5 Mbps integrated T1 went for only a few years ago.  Ethernet over Copper, converged voice and data services, are even better priced and offer more scalable bandwidths.

For now, it still makes sense for a business to utilize T1 and Ethernet internet connections.  Many companies use DSL and cable for backup.  The great thing is if your T1 goes down, your employees’ productivity won’t suffer, it might even increase.

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