Swap T1 for Fiber at Same Cost You may be surprised to find that you can get 10 Mbps fiber optic service for the same price as your old T1 line contract.
By: John Shepler
Your faithful T1 line has provided constant reliable service for years, perhaps decades. Now it’s getting a little long in the tooth. The 1.5 Mbps T1 offered amazing bandwidth at the dawn of the Internet era. Today it’s just plain sluggish. You know you need an upgrade, but how much is that going to cost? Would you be shocked to know that you might trade up for the same money? It’s true!
Why You Need to Make a Change
Let’s face it. You’ve run out of bandwidth. T1 still works well for small retail stores and other applications for POS credit card verification, email, small text files and very casual web browsing. Cloud services, video streaming, remote backups and large file transfers will crawl if they even work acceptably.
More of the Same Won’t Help
There’s nothing wrong with the line. It just doesn’t have enough bandwidth. You can bond a second T1 line or even a third to double or triple bandwidth, but you’ll also be doubling or tripling your costs. Unless you are in a remote location without other options, there is a better approach.
Fiber is the New Copper
Truth be told, the cost of T1 lines and most other telecom services have come down steadily over the years. If you are happy with your T1, you might be able to get the same service for half the cost you once paid.
Even better, the cost of fiber optic lines has plummeted over the same period. If you checked into fiber when you started your business and found it either wasn’t available or cost a small fortune, you are in for a pleasant surprise. Deregulation and the demand for higher and higher data speeds has resulted in a fiber building boom. The field is highly competitive and carriers are rushing to “light” buildings with their lines before someone else becomes established.
What this means for you is that fiber optic service is now commonly available. The latest offers are Carrier Ethernet which is also called Ethernet over Fiber. This technology is directly compatible with nearly all local area networks and replaces the older, more expensive SONET fiber service. SONET is the one you remember as costing a fortune.
Fiber for the Price of T1
Technology marches on. It’s been true for several years that you can upgrade your T1 line to a new technology called Ethernet over Copper and get at least twice the bandwidth for the same cost using the same twisted pair telco lines that supply your T1 service. Today, you can get several times the bandwidth using Ethernet over Copper. Same cost.
How about fiber? The latest competitive quotes I’m seeing offer entry level 10 Mbps x 10 Mbps fiber optic bandwidth for roughly the cost of a new T1 line in select areas. It is highly likely that you could get this level of fiber service for the same price as a T1 contract you’ve had for a few years or more.
Fiber For the Future
The nice thing about Ethernet over Fiber is that it is future proof. If your provider installs a 100 Mbps or 1 Gbps port, you can upgrade to those speeds any time, but only buy the speed you need right now. You may find the cost of Fast Ethernet at 100 Mbps or Gigabit Ethernet at 1000 Mbps really quite affordable and well worth it for the productivity improvement.
Are you frustrated by the inability of your T1 line or business DSL to keep up with your online needs? Now would be a great time to see what you can get in the way of a fiber optic bandwidth connection. You may be amazed by what is available today.
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