The Evolution of Integrated T1 Service
Friday April 05, 2013,
08:05 am ET
DRAPER, Utah, Apr. 05 /Patrick Oborn/ --
The way business connect to the digital universe is changing. More and more enterprises are
discovering the new broadband options made available to them through a series of cost cutting
measures by telecommunication providers. With the recent rush to consolidate, more and more
features are being crammed into the current service offerings, which continue to fall in price
bringing products like integrated T1 service into the price range of the vast majority of
small to medium-size businesses.
Min Lieu owns a small insurance agency in Kansas. Five years ago he signed up with
XO Communications for a TDM-based integrated T1 line for $870/month, which did not
include local or long distance calling. Recently, he was offered XO's version of
a dynamic circuit called "XO Flex" for half of the price he was already paying.
"I would have been a fool not to take the deal" stated Mr. Lieu. "I'm able to
add headcount with additional voice lines, without any increase in expense or
degradation in high-speed Internet performance."
The early adapters of this new technology have realized a cost savings that helps
them be more competitive in the market space. By saving hundreds of dollars each
month, which equates to thousands of dollars per year, small businesses are able
to do more while spending less on their telecom bill. This savings allows for
hiring of additional staff, upgrading equipment, and other activities that make
the enterprise more productive and profitable. Many in the industry see the
lack of mass adoption of this new technology as just shear ignorance and/or
a lack of trust for telecom sales people.
Integrated T1s comes in two basic configurations: digital and analog trunks, with a trunk
being a 24-line (or channel) bundle. The newer, digital trunks, however, are able to
run both voice and data over the same channels. By assigning priority to the voice
traffic whenever it is present, a dynamic integrated trunk can provide the end-user
with a full 1.5 MBPS of data throughput if no phone calls are in progress. As more
voice lines are required, less data lines are available. Analog trunks are all
pre-assigned to either voice or data traffic, and do not reconfigure in the event
there is no voice traffic.
Change does not happen quickly in an industry as so heavily regulated as Telecommunications.
Recent industry consolidation has provided huge alternatives to the incumbents, who
are now under pressure to keep up with new technologies while charging better prices
to retain and attract new customer bases.
CLECs are continuing to find new and loyal customers in the small business space, but
for how long will this trend continue? Will the RBOCs ever be able to give them a fight
on a level playing field? Only the FCC knows that answer to that question - all we can
do is be thankful for the past 12 years of progress and hope we never return to the
pre-1996 era of Telecommunications.