Finding the best price for a T1 line – Best Bang for Your Buck
What to look for and know how to look for it
There are so many different Internet Service Providers out there that can provide a T1 service to you. Where do you even begin to choose?
First thing to look for is who is close to you. The loop price varies due to distance to nearest point of presence (POP).
A business T1 circuit is repeater driven (repeaters reestablishing the digital signal every several thousand feet), it is available pretty much anywhere we want. Reestablishing a signal is duplicating the original signal perfectly at lightning quick speeds, so the quality of the signal is not hurt by the distance. Each time the signal is reestablished, there is a cost. There is also a cost for the facilities used when carrying the signal from the pop. Because of this, distance between the POP and the number of times that the signal has to be reestablished can affect pricing. This is why running a T1 line to a customer in a remote area will cost that customer a lot more than someone in a big city with a built-in infrastructure.
Second of all, decide on how you want your service to be measured. A T1 is consists of a local loop connecting your location with the Tier 1 carrier’s backbone. The use of this network requires a port charge. A port charge is a charge for the connection to and use of the physical network port, burstable to the full capacity of the network. Typical port charges will range between $550/month to $1000/month. After taking distance and the number of loops into account, your bill can be lower or higher depending on how you want your T1 services billed.
1. Metered rates depend on how much usage you may incur on your T1 line. If you need the dependability and performance of a T1 line, but don’t think you’ll be using the bandwidth heavily, then this may be the route for you. Metered means your usage is monitored and you are responsible for any overages. There is a base monthly fee, plus a per MB charge for any data transfer beyond that base amount. Similar to the way cell phone minutes work. Metered pricing is usually the best choice for users that require speed, but light usage. Even so, metered rates are seldom used because of the better options of burstable and flat rates. Many times, flat rates are actually cheaper than this option.
2. Burstable rates, also called “burstable billing”, allows you to select more channels than you actually pay for. This rate allows you to “burst” up to the speed of a full T1 when in use, but keeps your bandwidth at a, otherwise, lower speed. This works by supplying a burstable T1 line. You only pay for 256kbps, but you’re allowed to “burst” at full T1 speeds periodically. At the end of each month, the billing company will drop the highest 5% bandwidth used and charge you for the rest. A burstable rate is offered on any connection over 128kpbs, and is very cost effective giving while providing you with a full T1.
3. Flat rates are pretty much what it sounds like. It’s a fixed charge regardless of use up to the maximum capacity. The most common in broadband access to the Internet in the USA and most other countries.
The type of equipment used can increase your Internet bill. Equipment from companies like Cisco and Netopia can give you a variety of service options at extra costs. Many times such equipment will be provided by the Local ISP and it should fit your requirements. Extra features like VPN, firewalls, Frame Relay, VoIP, ATM, etc. may require a lot of hardware. Determine if you need all of those options. You can always add on services later down the line when you need them, but it may take time to install. Needless to say, all these extras will go towards your bill, especially if you rent out certain things, like the router. Pricing and options on equipment will usually be provided when you request quotes.