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Confusion with T1 vs Cable speed Looking for some help

by mojo234 / May 26, 2006 10:35 AM PDT

Title: Confusion with T1 vs. Cable speeds. Looking for some explanation please...

I've never really had the chance to play with any high speed connection other than my RoadRunner (5Mbit) at home. I've recently gotten a new job at which we have a T1 run for our dedicated internet access.

I've always known that T1's are 1.5Mbit, but I never really thought about that? I was always under the impressions that the order of speeds was: dialup, dsl, cable, t1, t3. In my mind I've always thought, "wow I wish I could have a T1 to my house."

However, am I accurate on that? As I said my RoadRunner is 5Mbit and when I run bandwidth tests I do indeed get that. When I download at home from good servers I get speeds upwards of 600Kb/sec. Here at work, though, I only get about 180Kb/sec, and now that I do the math, that seems right. 180Kb/sec is roughly the 1.5Mbit that a T1 gets.

So, is cable actually faster than a T1!? Why do so many business use T1's and not cable modems if this is the case?

Also, I never really knew this either, that T1's were actually run with phone lines??? The way people explain why cable is faster is by saying something like "a phone cord is only this thick, where-as a coax cable is about 3 times as thick, therefore it's like more lanes of traffic, it can go faster." But apparently that's not the case. If a T1 at 1.5Mbit can come in through a phone line why were we stuck with 56kbit connections on dial for so long? Are these so called high-speed dial up ISP's using technology similar to a T1?

Also I know you can multiplex lines to equal 6mbs but is that cost effective, or is the benefit of T1's and up all about the ability to upload and download at 1.5mps

Sorry if I sound like an idiot. I thought I knew the differences between these connections but I guess I'm wrong. Anything you can tell me to help me understand would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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Speed. . .
by Coryphaeus / May 26, 2006 10:36 PM PDT

T1 speed = 1.544 Mb/s of which you get 1.536 Mb/s because of digital overhead.

Cable speed = Up to 6 Mb/s.

T1 is a fully digital signal giving the same speed up and down as it is a symmetrical signal. Cable and other broadband is asymmetrical because most people do more downloading than uploading.

As said, T1 is digital. Cable, DSL, dial-up are all analog using specific frequencies to encode the bits.

T1 uses two cable pairs, one for transmit and one for receive. They carry the fully digital signal both ways at the same time.

Which one is faster? You can do the math. The size of the cable/wire has nothing to do with speed, but the type of encoding does. Think of fiber. Smaller than a hair but will carry data in the gigabit range. It's the encoding.


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by kirktran / June 14, 2006 3:44 AM PDT
In reply to: Speed. . .

Cable companies also were built to broadcast and have a problem sending information back, hence the Asymmetrical speed.

Also, cable networks are not built to business parks as phone lines are required by law hence why it is difficult to get cable modems in an office. You will end up eating the construction costs to tear up the ground, etc.. to install cable.

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Confusion with T1 vs Cable speed Looking for some help ...
by NDRoth / January 24, 2011 1:39 PM PST
In reply to: Speed. . .

Good answer above. Succinct, direct and right on. Again, good answer.

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T1 speeds are awesome
by ryancseacrest / November 5, 2010 2:58 AM PDT
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T1 vs DSL
by ryancseacrest / November 6, 2010 8:55 PM PDT
In reply to: T1 speeds are awesome

T1 internet connection is commonly used in offices and schools, however more households are switching over to T1 internet service connection

Some T1 line pricing/costs from a T1 local provider.
You can also request for a free T1 quote

Full T1 (1.5 MB) - $ 391
Local T1 (PRI) - $ 380
Integrated T1 (24 Voice / 1.5 MB) - $ 640
Metro Ethernet (10 MB) - $ 950
Wireless T1 (6MB) - $ 450
Bonded T1 - $ 799
Full Voice T1 - $ 169

More information on T1 internet connection, speed, bandwidth, line, cable, isp, router, modem and dedicated T1 at Wiki link below:

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confusion with internet connections
by elkplain / January 31, 2012 2:24 AM PST
No, your not confused, but mislead by a variety of advertising. T1, as in one line, is 1.5megs up and 1.5megs down. Your Roadrunner service is 5megs down, but only 500k up. Wire size, distance to the local switching office all play a part in T1 service. Cable is able to provide a faster service because of how they transport the data. Essentially, cable is a poor mans fiber line. You can get faster speeds via wire by "bundling" more than one T1 line; however all of this is very expensive. At the best rate available, your looking at thousands of dollars a month for something that your cable company can offer at a fraction of the cost. Also remember, you have everyone at work using the same T1 line at the same time. The pipe can only hold so much traffic before things slow down. Also, T1 is a dedicated line that can't do anything else. No matter what method you use to access the net, it only handles so much traffic at one time. I run cable here, even though there is a fiber line one block away. However, my cable headend is only 4 blocks away. This is a good thing !! And, its fed by the fiber line that is near me. I hope this helps you out in some small way.
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(NT) Did you notice the date of the first post?
by Coryphaeus / January 31, 2012 3:45 AM PST
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