telecommunicationsThe typical business DSL connection costs between $50 and $100 per month.  Phone companies, like CenturyLink, AT&T and Verizon, are offering DSL with download speeds as fast as 20 to 40 Mbps.  Even those services can be had for a little more than $100 a month.

So why would any business subscribe to a service like T1?

Cheapest isn’t always the best.  For not much more money per month, T1’s, specifically integrated T1’s, offered by companies like CenturyLink, XO, Integra and TW Telecom, offer faster upload speeds, a more dependable download speed, a sizable block of long distance minutes and if you need additional lines, they’re in the $20 range instead of $40 (the average cost of a business phone line).

Response Time

T1 customers receive a better response time if they require a repair tech visit.  With DSL, it’s by the next day, while T1s offer a service level agreement that promises a tech visit within four hours.


Services like DSL are “oversubscribed”.  This is a mathematical calculation used to determine how much bandwidth is required to service a set number of subscribers.  With DSL the difference between the guaranteed bandwidth and the advertised bandwidth will be greater than with a dedicated service like T1.  T1 bandwidth is “oversubscribed” as well but not to the same extent.

Upload Speed

Upload speed is also a factor.  If you’re hosting your own website or your employees are accessing your network remotely, you probably will require a dedicated service offering a heftier upload.  Also, if you’re using your internet connection for Voice over IP, you’ll require a more dependable internet connection, offering a faster upload, like T1.


The old adage, “you get what you pay for” comes into play in this debate.  DSL is less expensive and in some cases will suffice, but you have to ask yourself the following questions before ordering the service:

  • If your internet service went down for a day how would that affect your business?
  • How sensitive is the information that you’re transmitting over the internet?
  • Is anyone accessing your network remotely?
  • Have you taken into account the cost of your phone lines and long distance when you’re calculating the total cost of your telecom service?
  • Do you ever have to send large files across the internet?

It’s always a good idea to seek advice from a telecom expert, like a telecom consultant or an Information Technology professional, as well.  If you make the wrong choice, it could take weeks to replace a DSL connection with a T1 or integrated T1.

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