T1 Internet Service: What to Consider

Frame over DSL Vs. Traditional Clear Channel T1?

If you are shopping around for a T1 (which we assume you are), there are two very distinct T1 products being sold in the market place Frame over DSL Vs. Traditional Clear Channel T1. You need to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of these products when shopping providers.

Please ask the competing companies the following questions:

  • Is this a resell line? If so are you re-selling Covad's TeleXtend T1? (Frame over DSL FRoDSL)
  • Is the line you are selling a Clear Channel T1 or Frame over DSL?
  • If you say you are Tier 1 what does that mean? What is it that makes you a Tier 1 Carrier like ATT, Sprint etc.?

By blending DSL, ATM, and frame relay technology, providers can considerably lower the cost of your multi-site connections. FRoDSL service is perfect for companies who currently use frame relay services, but would like to explore lower cost network options.

T3 connection is capable of delivering 43.232Mbps. DSL connections are not nearly as reliable as a T1 / T3 connection and should not be considered as a business connections unless it's SDSL and even then you will likely have some downtime. See: Which Connection is Better T1 or DSL? If you have critical information being hosted or have a large number of users accessing the internet on a regular basis, consider getting a T1 connection. Full Data T1 will support 50 workstations.

See Telecom Glossary for additional terms and definitions. DSL Terms explained.


DS1 - The terms T1 and DS1 have become synonymous and include services from voice to data to clear-channel pipes. DS-1, "Digital Service – Level 1" sends 24 digitized voice channels over the T1. The line speed is always consistent at 1.54 Mbit/s.

Frame Relay - Frame relay is a networking protocol, which means that unlike a point-to-point private line, there's a network switch in-between your location and to whoever you're connecting. Actually, you get a private line to a node on the frame relay network, and the remote location gets a private line to a near-by frame relay node. When you send traffic over your line, the network gets it to the remote location by routing it through the frame relay network. Then the data is passed to the remote location's line. In the U.S., Frame Relay is quite popular because it is relatively inexpensive. However, it is being replaced in some areas by faster technologies, such as ATM.

ATM - Short for Asynchronous Transfer Mode, a network technology based on transferring data in cells or packets of a fixed size. The cell used with ATM is relatively small compared to units used with older technologies. The small, constant cell size allows ATM equipment to transmit video, audio, and computer data over the same network, and assure that no single type of data hogs the line.

When purchasing ATM service, you generally have a choice of four different types of service:

  • constant bit rate (CBR): specifies a fixed bit rate so that data is sent in a steady stream. This is analogous to a leased line.
  • variable bit rate (VBR): provides a specified throughput capacity but data is not sent evenly. This is a popular choice for voice and videoconferencing data.
  • available bit rate (ABR): provides a guaranteed minimum capacity but allows data to burst at higher capacities when the network is free.
  • unspecified bit rate (UBR): does not guarantee any throughput levels. This is used for applications, such as file transfer, that can tolerate delays.
  • T3 - T-3 is a member of the T-carrier system. The name T3 came from the carrier letter assigned by AT&T. T-carrier is a communications system used for carrying voice, data or integrated voice & data transmissions in a digital format. T-3 meets the needs of businesses having multiple users on a system requiring fast speed and broad bandwidth. For a fixed monthly rate, businesses with 6 or more users can communicate via both voice and data. T3 - 43.232 megabits per second (28 T1s).

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