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Cable/DSL vs. T1 Rediscussion

I have seen this discussion before, but I dont think the scenarios were well played out and thoroughly discussed.

Would it not be better to get a router with lets say 5 DSL interfaces and then Multilink those together than buying a T1. The 5 DSL lines (3 MB DL/500KB+ UL) for business cost around 80 each for a total of 400. Your combined links (MLP) would have a bandwidth of 15 MB DL and 2.5MB UL. Plus, considering a T1 costs around 1000-1200, thats obviously a lot more cost. To make an even better comparison, why not get a router with 12 DSL interfaces, bundle them together either in one big bundle or a few bundles (cant remember how many links can be bundled together in a MLP bundle) for a total bandwidth of 36 MB DL/ 6 MB UL at around the same price of a T1 ($80 * 12= $960. Now I know you are supposed to get a better/reliable service with the T1, but wouldn't the extra 34 MB DL/ 4 MB UL (36 MB - 1.544 MB(T1))greatly overcome the greater quality of service from the T1.


Re: Cable/DSL vs. T1 Rediscussion

A T1/DS1 (to the Internet) is not as expensive as you suggest. I've seen ads & promotions for as little as US$350.00, though typical is probably in the $500-600 dollar range.

For a straight-up T1/DS1 point-to-point connecting two point in the same general geographic area (like Metro Chicago), you can probably get it for $100-$300.

What you get for the money, in addition to the (usualy) reliability is a "Service Level Agreement" (SLA) that frequently guarantees 99.99% or more uptime, occasionally some monitoring (initiation of repair without the end-user having to call 24X7X365), and some flexibility on the service (HDLC, Frame-Relay, ATM, MPLS).

You can also bundle T1s for additional bandwidth using something like IMA or Multi-Link Frame Relay (MLFR) ... some folks even use MLPPP.

Huge bandwidth doesn't matter if it's not available, or is not reliable. When the business is on the line, "reliable" wins the vast majority of the time. It's just part of the cost of doing business.

Certainly there are "business class" DSL and cable services, complete with SLAs, and their use appears to be growing. Generally speaking, you can get a T1/DS1 to any location ... it's repeatable.

DSL, even with "Remote Terminals" still has some distance limitations, and may not be cabable of having multiple DSL signaling in a single cable bundle; i.e., even though you have at least four pair of conductors in a phone cable, putting four DSL lines on that cable may cause interference between the lines.

Cable broadband may be extendable to the extent that T1/DS1 is, but it's carried on fiber and coax .... which may or may not exist to, and near, the end-user's premises.

In nearly all cases, some copper (ala phone lines / T1-capable copper) is usually alreadey available to the premises.

Adding media to the site is usually an additional cost and would add to the overall cost of implementation.

I"m sure thre are some other considerations; overall, much will depend on where the site is located, distance to the CO, available media, how critical the circuit is to the business, etc.

Hope this helps

Good Luck


Community Member

Re: Cable/DSL vs. T1 Rediscussion

Alright..I dont know where you are located or anything..but our T1s run considerable more. On a p2P T1, you're is lower, but its not as low as what you were saying.

As far as reliability/SLA., I can understand if you are a financial corpation or an e-commerce business where if the internet is down for 5 min, you just lost millions of dollars. But, there are lots of companies out there that if they're not up 24X7, they wont really lose out on anything..just hear the complaints..

As far as distance limitations and such, I really didnt think was much of a problem anymore with the giant growth in DSL/Cable implementations. Maybe with cable a little, but DSL, the phone lines are there and they're adding COs everywhere to add to the availability of DSL for residential, business, etc..

As far as the phone lines, I'm not quite sure what you were talking about about putting multiple DSL lines on one phone line. Why not just use a seperate phone line for each DSL line?

So, it seems like if your business has the availability of multiple DSL/Cable lines, it doesnt need 24X7 reliability (My DSL has gone down only 3 times, most of the time for like 5 min, this whole year, the T1s at work went down 1 time and was down all day), and your business isnt using advanced connections like ATM, Frame Relay, etc.., then the DSL/Cable option would be the better route.

I'm just wondering with the high speeds of DSL/cable being at 1.5Mb, 3MB, 5MB, and higher, it being made available to more and more places, it becoming more and more reliable, and it costing less, if the old business thought of having to get a T1 is outdated.

Anyways, thanks for your thoughts.

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