What is a T1 Internet Connection?

In Japan, North America and South Korea, the T1 Internet connection has become the standard telecommunications method for transferring data (via a network router) and voices (via a telephone system) from device to device. Throughout the rest of the world, an E1 circuit is used instead of the T1.

Originally developed by Bell Labs in the 1960s, the T1 Internet connection is also known as a Digital Signal 1, DS-1 or DS1. On average, a T1 circuit delivers 1.5 Mbit/s of data.

If you‘ve ever asked yourself, “What is a T1 Internet connection?”, you might also be interested to know that it’s made up of 24 eight-bit channels, and each channel is 64 kbit/s. The circuit can send and receive 1.544 Mbit/s at the same time, so it qualifies as a full-duplex circuit.

Prior to the 1990s, the T1 was used mainly by the telephone companies to transport voice traffic between central offices. They have also been used for years by cell phone carriers to connect central office switches with various cellular sites throughout a city. Today, most companies use the T1 for Internet connections.

The T1 Router

Even if you have a T1 circuit, you’ll still need to have a way to interface it with your office network. A router is most often used for this task.

A router normally has a single circuit interface which allows for a T1 or E1 connection. It also has a single network interface (an Ethernet port, in most cases).

Most routers also include a number of other capabilities. These include the ability to create secure connections to other offices (VPN or site-to-site tunneling) and block access to your office network (firewalls).

T1 Versus DSL


A T1 line is dedicated (assuming you pay extra for this option), while a DSL line may contain hundreds of subscribers (thus limiting bandwidth based on the amount of traffic). This makes a T1 connection more consistent., but it’s also more expensive. But not to worry, we have some tips to help you find cheap T1 internet services.

In addition, customer service for the T1 connection tends to yield better (and quicker) results. If you experience problems with your connection, you should regain service in a much faster time than DSL subscribers.

A DSL connection is more limited when it comes to distance. In most cases, it functions at a range of around 18,000 feet. A T1 line, by way of comparison, can often function at a range of between 20 to 50 miles. This makes the T1 connection ideally suited for Internet customers living in a rural area.

T1 Connection Services

For the consumer looking to purchase a T1 connection, a number of packages are available. The two most common are the “dedicated” line and the “burstable” line. The dedicated line offers a 1:1 ratio of bandwidth, while the burstable line allows you to share the bandwidth with a limited number of other users. As you might expect, the dedicated line is much more expensive.

T1 Internet Connection Summary

So what is a T1 Internet connection? It can be summarized as a reliable method of transferring both data and voices. If your Internet connection is a T1, you can expect faster download times, a consistent connection, and superior customer service. The only substantial drawback is the higher price of obtaining a T1 connection.