Flutterby™! : Time to spring for a T1 line?

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Time to spring for a T1 line?

2004-04-02 18:32:10.991748+00 by Diane Reese 6 comments

OK, so we've decided maybe now is the time, since the kitchen is paid for (and will be certified as inhabitable on Monday if the city inspection goes as expected!), to investigate getting a T1 line to our house. I'm not entirely sure where to start: every site I review seems to assume we're a business and markets its services accordingly. Anyone have any wisdom or experience to impart as we begin investigating T1 for home use? (Or should we proceed in a different direction entirely? We already have DSL service and it's too slow and occasionally too flakey for our needs.) And what's this "scalable T1" stuff?

[ related topics: Interactive Drama broadband Economics ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-02 18:48:41.488581+00 by: aiworks

I'd look at:

-Megapath (http://www.megapath.net); they have both SDSL (more reliable than ADSL in my experience) and T1 offerings. They cater to the SOHO crowd.

-Covad (http://www.covad.net); I don't know what they're like now, but they also have SDSL and T1 offerings.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-02 21:32:06.703882+00 by: meuon

Diane, my local Comcast cable connection has rocked. Solid and fast (and at least steady on the upstream). I'd also see if there is a commerical cableTV/ISP roduct available.

Scalable T1's are fractional T1 lines, a T1 is essential 24 channels at 64k each and you can get it per channel. My experience is that it's expensive unless part of a multi-line bundle from a phone company. If your existing aDSL line is flakey, SDSL S=Synchronous is a little better and more suited to high end home and business use. The S just means it's provisioned (software settings) for similar up and down speeds, ie: 768 up and 768 down. It'll be more expensive that normal aDSL but less expensive than a true T1 connection.

There are also "business class" xDSL products, using better equipment and near sDSL configs that work better that might be available, ie: 512k up and 1-3 mbps down, static IP and a more consistent service level (less oversubscription by th upstream). Worth trying first. T1 routers and equipment can get pricey.. even buying used on ebay.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-02 21:59:00.462876+00 by: Dan Lyke

By contrast, my Comcast connection has been so-so, I've had outages and extreme slowdowns and despite the lower overall speed I'd spring for a DSL connection in a heartbeat if I was within range. I don't do anything that requires better up-time, though, if my home connection is down for an hour or two occasionally it's no biggie.

And Comcast doesn't have a package which gives me a static IP, the other reason I want DSL.

But overall, I think for what little you gain in uptime you lose a lot in speed in going to a T1. True, it'll be symmetric bandwidth if you're planning on hosting a website at home, but if reliability for downloading is the primary issue I'd see about getting cable and DSL and seeing about putting together a smarter router that can switch you over to the other when the one goes down.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-02 22:02:49.886979+00 by: Dan Lyke

And just to beat Topspin to the punch, shall we do the obligatory Tennyson reference now?

In the Spring a livelier iris changes on the burnish'd dove;
In the Spring a woman's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of bandwidth.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-02 22:12:19.231877+00 by: aiworks

This may sound stupid: depending on your usage, you might find a T1 more suitable for concurrent, busy connections. For my office in Atlanta, I started with SDSL, moved to a T1, and am now using ADSL and colocation.

My configuration has always been the same: whatever box the upstream provider gives me plugged into a Linux box with two NICs functioning as firewall. My experience was that the T1 handled multiple inbound connections much better (more democractically) than DSL. I suspect this has more to do with the quality of the provided hardware than specifics of the line technology.

Now, if I could just figure out what to do with the Cisco IAD2421-8FXS T1 CSU-DSU/router/VoIP box that never got picked up...

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-03 01:37:16.086071+00 by: Shawn

Comcast (AT&T when I started using it - nothing's really changed service-wise) has been good for me in terms of speed, but reliability hasn't been the best. We'll have days here and there (maybe every month or two) where the services bounces up and down. I probably wouldn't even notice if it were only a couple of hours, but these can sometimes last two or three days - and occasionally require rebooting the firewall/router (consumer-level D-Link box).

Don't have any advice on T1. The last time I window shopped, it was something like $1500/month for the feed alone. (That, and it really doesn't make much sense without one's own home.)