T1 lines are dedicated high-speed digital network lines. According to Data Comm for Business, Inc., T1 technology was first developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s to support digitised voice and improve the telephone system. T1 lines operate at 1.544 Megabits per second (Mbps), providing reliability and high transfer speeds. They provide fast, efficient connections to databases and applications and are important for many businesses. T1 lines, however, come with a few disadvantages.
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T1 lines costs significantly more than conventional DSL, cable or other high-speed Internet connections. According to CostHelper, as of 2010 a full T1 line costs £162 to £650 per month, plus set-up fees. Fractional T1s, shared with other users, cost £195 to £260 per month, while a burstable T1--a fractional T1 with the ability to increase bandwidth as needed--costs £325 to £487 per month. Conventional cable or DSL connections usually cost less than £65 per month and fibre optic broadband costs £97 or less.
Adding a dedicated T1 to a home or business requires physical installation of the line. This may lead to additional costs and can disrupt daily activities. According to Transition Networks, installing a T1 requires the installer to test a number of wires to find the correct circuit. T1 lines also require line conditioning to help maintain reliability, which means adding repeaters along the line. Very long T1 lines may be significantly more expensive due to the number of repeaters.
According to CostHelper, a single T1 connection can support a large number of users--up to several hundred. The more people using the line at once, however, the more efficiency drops. Using a T1 to provide Internet access to large numbers of people may not provide the quality and reliability necessary for a highly-connected business or organisation.
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