If you run a small business, you have probably wondered if a T1 line is right for your communications needs. While a T1 line provides excellent connectivity with guarantees as far as the uptime goes, it generally costs several hundred dollars per month. The alternatives are either DSL or cable modem service for your internet access, plus regular phone lines for getting in touch with your customers. So what exactly is a T1 line, and which option is best for your small business?

A business class T1 line is basically a glorified phone line which provides the customer access to 24 different channels. These channels can be used individually, allowing up to 24 different users access to a voice line, or they can be combined for data usage. For example if you run an office with eight people, you could divide the T-carrier line into eight different voice channels and then use the rest of the bandwidth for shared internet access.

The line will cost you in the area of $250 to $1000 per month, which of course is a fairly wide range. Why the huge differences in price? Each T1 contract is customized for the customer based on their top priority. Most lines come with a four hour repair commitment, but if you opt for a longer repair window you can save money. Of course most businesses cannot afford to have significant downtime, so that is one of the main reasons for ordering a business class service like this.

Another factor in the pricing of the line is the contract agreement between the carrier and the customer. Generally, the carrier whether it be the local exchange company or a reseller want you to sign as long as contract as possible. This insures they will hopefully make money from the business for three years instead of just one. In return, they are willing to take less money for the T1 circuit and help the business out in controlling costs.

In making the decision as to whether a T1 is right for your business, it is fairly easy to determine whether you should go this route. Generally, business class phone lines cost between $40 and $50 a month, so simply multiply the number of lines you have times your monthly cost. Also consider what you pay for your DSL or cable modem connection. If it is fairly close to the price for a T1, you are usually better off in the long run by going with the more reliable connection for the same amount of money.

Source by A. C. Kemp