As the name suggests, a Fractional T1 is a part or fraction of a complete dedicated T1 line. The T1 line carries a data capacity rate of 1,544K bits/second at total capacity. Therefore, a fractional T1 line can provide a fraction of this full service (768K, 384K, etc.). Here, we will explore fractional T1 and what are its popular applications in the current network landscape.

Understanding T1 and Fractional T1

T1 is an internet connection that can deliver 1.5 Megabits of data transmission per second. It comprises 24 channels, with each channel transmitting 64 kilobits per second, with symmetric bandwidth transmission.

A fractional T1 line rents out only a portion of the 24 channels available in a full T1 line. This is designed to allow customers to benefit from the excellent connection speeds offered by a T1 line at literally a fraction of the cost of one. Even though only a portion of the channels is utilized, the data transmission rate and quality remain consistent, and users can experience the same performance as that of a full T1 line.

Like a full T1 line, fractional T1 lines also offer direct connectivity with the service provider ensuring better security attributed to this direct link with the internet service provider. In addition, this prevents others from sharing your fractional T1 line.

Available T1 Fractions

The 64 K channels of a T1 data stream are called DS0. Each T1 combines 24 of these along with maintenance and other such overhead bits to evolve into a T1 service known as DS1. as a result, a T1 service can range from 64K to 1,530K. However, popular service options of T1 fractions include 768K, 640K, 512K, 384K, and 128K. Being a symmetrical service, these numbers represent upload as well as download speeds. Most users looking for higher than 768K opt for a full T1 line instead.

Benefits of Fractional T1

Fractional T1 offers all the benefits of a full-blown T1 line. These include:



Like T1 lines, fractional T1 lines are also broadly available in areas where users do not have access to DSL or cable internet services. This is a major advantage as you can enjoy high-speed internet services even in remote locations.


Fractional T1 connectivity is high-speed as it is dedicated and offers the same upload and download speeds, ensuring the smooth running of services.


Fractional T1 connection offers different speeds that you can upgrade or downgrade as required. Also, depending on your requirement, you can segregate channels into data transmissions or voice.


Since you are directly connecting to the ISP from your location, the service is more secure and highly reliable. There is no need for aggregation like DSL or cable modems.

Guaranteed Service Delivery

Like T1 lines, fractional T1 service providers also offer excellent service level guarantees in their contracts. In addition, the reliability of this service allows them to provide outstanding uptime guarantees and deliver better response and resolution times than most other connection services.


T1 lines can undoubtedly be expensive for small businesses or startups. For such instances, a fractional T1 line proposes the perfect solution as it provides nearly all the features or a full T1 line but at a much lesser cost.

Popular Applications of Fractional T1

Not all businesses need a full bandwidth service like a T1 line to operate daily. A fractional T1 line provides the required speed, connectivity, availability, reliability, security, and flexibility at lower bandwidth and cost. Further, even if DSL or cable internet is available, the service providers may not ensure service response and resolution times as per your expectations. Therefore, fractional T1 lines are recommended for businesses suffering from the non-availability of either DSL or cable in their remote office locations.

In Conclusion

T1 lines continue to remain one of the most expensive internet connection options available in the market today. However, with options like fractional T1, organizations can avail of these services without burdening their allocated budgets. Even though the fractional T1 lines do not run at the total capacity for a T1 line, they still deliver competitive data speeds.

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