Friday, May 2, 2008


With a multitude of companies launching their T1 services, the well-established AT&T has its own foray into the market. But does being an established telecommunications company translate into a better product?

AT&T advertises itself as a “multi-faceted company with a storied past that is number 15 on the Fortune 500 list” with a “superior quality network, top-rated reliability, and excellent customer service.” Of course, no company is ever going to discuss its downsides, so you should always consider a wide range of opinions from outside sources and not just the testimonials on the company’s official site.

So what can you really expect if you purchase AT&T’s T1 service? Well, the truth is, AT&T’s T1 lines are actually quite stable. You get what you should from a dedicated T1 service. A fast connection coupled with the option of placing up to 23 phone lines with long distance service could save your business plenty of funds over the long run. Best of all, the T1 service is available almost everywhere within the United States, as opposed to their limited DSL service. They provide a performance guarantee for the latency to be under 60 ms at all times and a packet loss of less than 0.7%.

In addition, you’ll receive other bonuses with your T1 connection, including teleconferencing services, voice over IP, and shared web hosting – all the mainstays that are vital to business. Best of all, this entire package comes at a reasonable price range of $459 - $700 per month.Then what’s the problem, you ask? There must be a catch… and, of course, there is. It’s not really an issue of the technical aspects of their T1 service. It runs well and for the most part, their guaranteed 24/7 connection is admirable. The problem is that things do happen, regardless of what is being guaranteed, and you may occasionally experience problems with your line or other features. When that happens, you’ll need to contact their customer service, which is where you’ll experience the most frustration with your order. Although the representative may be friendly, their knowledge of the system and repertoire of answers is limited; this means they may or may not be able to help you fix your service expediently. A technician may be required to physically look at your end. This could cost time and money on the part of your business, as the downtime affects your ability to conduct your work.

So what have we learned today?

The good: AT&T is offered in most areas at a moderate price range, with low delay and packet loss. You get nice additional features with your T1 service as well.

The bad: Don’t expect customer service to be able to readily fix any problem you may experience with your connection, if any.

The bottom line: AT&T delivers a good service and meets the needs of businesses. The line will run smoothly for as far as can be foreseen, but pray that it stays that way.