What is Integrated T1?
Integrated T1 is a high speed digital service
that combines telephone voice and Internet data on the same line.
By: John Shepler
Why order Integrated T1 service?
It can save you money. Every business has telephone lines and
most businesses access the Internet or use a virtual private
network (VPN). A common situation is an insurance office or medical
center with 6 to 12 outgoing telephone lines connected to a PBX
system for phone, and business DSL service for Internet Access.
By combining all the phone lines and Internet service on a single
T1 line, this business may well realize a monthly cost savings.
How do you combine telephone and the
It sounds like an odd mix. The plain old telephone service (POTS)
is an analog voice service that's been around for over a hundred
years. The Internet is all digital. To access the Internet, most
companies initially bought modems so that the phone lines could
transmit both voice and data. Unfortunately, modems are limited
to 56 Kbps or less of bandwidth due to the limited capability
of normal phone service. But if you reverse the situation and
convert the voice lines to digital, you can let one high speed
data line carry phone calls and get as much Internet speed as
The magic of converting phones to the digital
format is usually done inside a PBX (private branch exchange)
system that many offices already have. PBX lets you call within
the office by dialing 4 numbers or less. Outside calls are connected
to one or more phone lines. Some PBX systems already have T1
digital transmission capability built-in. Others will need to
have an interface card added.
Data, such as Internet service, is already
in the digital format and is distributed through a company network
using devices such as hubs and switches. A router generally provides
the interface between the Internet and the company network.
Combining Voice and Data
Now, here's the combination magic. A T1 line transmits and receives
a digital data stream that is made of up 64 K channels called
DS0. T1 strings together 24 of these in a row along with some
overhead and maintenance bits to create the T1 service called
DS1. Each one of those DS0 channels can be setup to carry a telephone
line or 64 K of "always on" Internet data. One T1 line
can carry 12 outside phone lines plus 768 K of Internet data.
Or, mix and match some other combination.
What does the merging? That's a piece of
equipment called an IAD or Integrated Access Device. It connects
to the PBX and network router and assigns each of the 24 T1 channels
to be voice or data. It then provides the access to and from
the T1 line itself.
What If a T1 Line Isn't Enough?
Need more capability? You can order "bonded" T1 lines
that double, triple or quadruple your capability. If you're an
Internet service provider or have a fairly large office, then
T3 is for you. T3 runs at about 45 Megabits per second or the
equivalent of 28 T1 lines. That's 672 channels. If that's not
enough, there are optical carrier services that can surely satisfy
your need for speed. Carrier Ethernet can easily give you 10 Mbps on up to 10 Gbps, and even 100 Gbps in some areas.
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