You might think that leasing a T1 line
for a song means that T1 line prices have plunged to the point
where it takes very little money to get professional grade bandwidth.
You'd be right. You can lease a full T1 voice or data line in
a major metropolitan area in the $300 to $400 range. In other
locales or where there is less infrastructure or fewer competitive
providers, the lease prices will be higher. But everywhere, T1
leases are cheaper than they ever have been.
T1 Lines for Songs and Audio Programming
You can also lease a T1 line for a song... literally. Radio stations
are now using T1 data lines as digital studio to transmitter
links. The traditional STL uses an analog or digital microwave
transmitter to carry the audio from the station's studios to
the transmitter site located 10 to 30 miles away. Sometimes an
equalized pair of analog phone lines do the same job when the
studio and transmitter are both downtown. But audio standards
are improving and digital is the way to go. Especially when the
music originates on CD, perhaps stored on a hard drive, and stays
in the digital domain through the mixing board. With HD radio
emerging as the digital alternative to standard AM and FM broadcasting,
it only make sense to keep everything in the digital domain until
it emerges as analog sound pressure waves at the receiver's speaker
Benefits of a T1 for Radio STL
So why lease a T1 line as a studio - transmitter link? A point
to point dedicated T1 line set up to be exclusive for your use
only. You have a steady 1.5 Mbps in each direction. That's 1.5
Mbps to the transmitter and another 1.5 Mbps from the transmitter
back to the studio for off-air audio, transmitter readings, or
satellite feed. A full stereo audio stream can be carried from
studio to transmitter without compression using the Harris Intraplex
STL Plus system. Compression can be used as appropriate to squeeze
multiple channels on one T1 line.
Unlike consumer grade DSL and Cable Internet
services, a dedicated T1 line comes with a SLA or Service Level
Agreement to assure a highly reliable circuit, critical for broadcasting
and other commercial applications. The timing is so accurate
that T1 lines can be used to synchronize multiple transmitters
to create an enormous coverage area on a single FM channel.
T1 Lines Are Available Just About Everywhere
T1 lines are provisioned on two pair of standard copper phone
line or as a DS1 channel on a fiber optic DS3 service where available.
You can get T1 lines installed just about anywhere you can get
a standard telephone line, including out in the boonies where
many transmitter sites are located. Being a wireline service,
there is no need for line of site between studio and transmitter.
There's also no need to coordinate microwave frequencies or apply
for a STL transmitter FCC license. That can save time and aggravation,
assuming that open frequencies are even available in your area.
How About Ethernet?
Carrier Ethernet directly competes with T1 and is available with both copper and fiber optic delivery. Bandwidths range from 2 or 3 Mbps on the low end up to 10 Gbps and beyond. Pricing per Mbps is more attractive than T1 lines. Managed service options also include edge routers as part of the service package.
Discover Your Bandwidth Upgrade Options Now
Get a competitive quote for upgrade service now, including better prices on T1 and bonded T1 lines, high bandwidth solutions such as DOCSIS 3.1, Carrier Ethernet and MPLS network services from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps, with 100 Gbps available in some areas. Find out in seconds what network services and pricing are available now for your commercial (not residential) building anywhere in the U.S. Simply use this handy form...
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