– Why is a T1 internet line at 1.5 mbps better for a business than cable running 400 mbps?


I’m a networking student and have come across this in my studies. I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that a T1 line at 1.5 mbps can transfer more data than a cable connection at 400 mbps

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“More data” isn’t the only quality that can make an access option better. A cable connection can offer **up to** 400 Mbps but that capacity is shared with other users. Depending on what they do your connection could drop in speed dramatically.

In contrast a T1 line is a dedicated connection just for your use. Nobody else can degrade your capacity, so you can plan around having it available all the time.

T1 is going to be much more stable (direct line) and higher tier of service.

They are paying more for that guarantee of service and faster repair time if things do go bad.

It isn’t better, not a T1 vs a 400mbps cable connection. But this is what it is….

1. The data transfer is synchronous. The T1 will be 1.5mbps up and down. The cable connection most likely will be asynchronous, it >might< be 400mbps down, but it’s probably only 10 or 20mbps up. And I strongly use the vagueness there. See reason #2.

2. The T1 will be all yours. You get 100% of that bandwidth. The cable modem is a shared medium. There’s a local hop somewhere that feeds all that coax/fiber out to you and if there’s 200 customers plugged into that box, you’re all sharing the bandwidth. If a bunch of people suddenly start downloading those fortnite updates, your bandwidth will be impacted. The T1 will likely have better overall latency for this reason.

3. The T1 99.9999% of the time will come with SLAs that guarantee a specific level of service (like 80% of your rated bandwidth for 90% of the day, or 99% availability or somesuch). Your typical cable provider, even at a ‘business’ class level doesn’t have any fucks to give about service levels. If you go down, deal with it. This is why things like SDwans exist.

But on a day to day basis, the 400mbps cable connection is going to vastly out perform a T1 @ 1.5mbps, even on the slow channel. But….no one uses T1s anymore unless they 100% have to.

You’re probably reading outdated documentation. T1 lines *used* to be the high end option. But 1.5 mbps hasn’t been much for a very long time now.

These days you’d probably get a fiber connection, and the business variant would have better guaranteed minimums and support.

In general, what a business wants is reliable service, and quick support. If you’re losing money every minute the line is down, you sure as hell don’t want to wait until next Monday for it to be fixed. You’re going to pay much more than a consumer line costs, but in exchange it’ll get fixed at 3 AM on Christmas if needed.