If you asked 100 people on the street if they have heard of cable and T1 internet, the majority of them would probably say yes to cable, but very few will have heard of a t1 line. If you asked those same people that responded yes if they know how either of them worked, most would say no. Although cable and T1 provide a similar service, there are quite a bit of differences between them. While both options are good choices for internet service, understanding what makes them different will help in your decision.
Cable internet was introduced as a better alternative to the inconsistency of DSL connections. It is said to be considerably faster, at a similar price. While this is usually true, fiber optic lines are needed to maximize the potential. The highest speeds achievable with cable internet is usually reserved for internet service providers(ISPs), or large corporations. Available bandwidth can be drastically decreased depending on the amount of users in the area. Multiple users on the same cable line can cut bandwidth availability in half. Home use is the primary function of cable internet. It is much cheaper than T1 internet. People that choose cable can expect to pay between $30-80 as opposed to several hundred dollars with T1. For business owners though, the speed and connection inconsistency can be a deciding factor.
T1 internet service is the most reliable option, but it is also the most expensive. T1 is a great service for businesses that cannot afford to have unreliable internet service. The reason it is so reliable is the fact that it is a direct connection, as opposed to cable which usually has one or more uplinks. T1 service can cost up to $750 in very rural areas that are located away from the main lines. In higher usage areas, the cost is cut considerably. Although T1 service is expensive, it can easily pay for itself in a matter of time. High traffic businesses that relay on internet connections will see an increase in productivity. Due to the speed offered by T1, loading and downloading times are significantly lowered. This allows businesses to increase their output by saving time. Generally, when large storms knock out cable lines, T1 lines remain functioning. While others maybe without internet for days, a business using T1 can remain open. For large businesses, this would be essential in not losing business to competitors.
Cable and T1 internet service are valuable assets to any homeowner or business. While T1 may not be a practical option for home use due to the cost, it is all most a necessity for business owners. Cable internet can also be used in business, but it is not as reliable and problems may arise. When deciding which option to go with, the needs of your business need to be assessed. If losing internet connection would be extremely costly to your business, T1 would be the way to go. If cost is an issue and possible speed problems aren’t a concern, cable would be an ideal choice.