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Choosing Broadband Services - A Guide For Businesses

With so many telecom services out there choosing the right one for your business can be challenging. Here is a guide to help you understand some of the main telecom choices that you have and what they mean to you.

The main types of lines available are T-1, DSL and OC circuits.

Generally speaking, faster speeds indicate larger bandwidth. The larger bandwidth is useful for large applications such as large data file transfers and streaming video. The large bandwidth also sets up your business to allow for future applications that may require additional bandwidth.

T1 - A high-speed digital connection that transmits data at a speed of 1.544Mbps. A T1 consists of 24 channels, which can be used for voice, data or a configuration of both. Each T1 can provide service for up to 50 to 100 phone users.

DSL - Digital subscriber line. A high-speed/broadband connection whose speed varies depending on the distance to the central office. The popularity of the DSL has been taken over by the T1. Unlike the T1, there are distance limitations. Cheaper than the T1, a DSL line is usually not covered by increased customer service like the T1.

T3 - A T3 is a high speed digital connection that transmits data at a speed of 43.232 megabits per second. The T3 is equivalent to 28 T1s. The T3 can handle even the most bandwidth intensive applications easily.

OC3 - Optical Carrier line that transmits at speeds up to 51.84 Mbps. The OC line uses optical fiber or SONET fiber optic to carry signals. The number behind the OC stands for the level of data transmission speed. An OC3 is equal to 84 T1s.

OC12 - An optical carrier line that transmits data at speeds of 622 megabits per second. This large bandwidth product is equal to 4 OC3's.

OC48 - A very large optical carrier that can transmit at speeds up to 2.5 gigabits per second. The OC48 is used for very large campus environments or as network backbones. The OC48 is equal to 4 OC12's.

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