While you may know what a T1 or T3 line is, not every business owner knows what the everyday uses are for this technology. In this article we will discuss real-world issues within different industries that a T1/T3/OC-3 line is effective for the everyday business. Hopefully this will help you better understand the practical uses for these lines and help you make a better informed decision on your future data/voice line leasing.
Point of Sale Transactions
In the retail, restaurant, and hospitality environment amongst others, the point of sale transaction is considered probably the most vital moment between customer and business. It signals the success of a sale, the precise point where a business moves forward with profitable revenue. It is during this moment in time, a reliable method of transacting that sale is an absolute necessity.
Even more importantly is how these point of sale transactions are made these days. Debit, credit, and payroll cards make up the majority of the sales and all require a method to transmit the financial data to complete the transaction.
A T1 or T3 line is important for POS due not only to the capability to have multiple ports for simultaneous sales registers, but due to the reliability. Reliability is crucial and these lines, when properly leased from the proper Tier One carriers, typically offer 99.9% up-time. DSL lines, some advertised cheap shady lines, or oversold burstable lines (sometimes even sold as T1).
Take note, some smaller mom and pop establishments have been known to use dial-up still. You most definitely will recall if you were transacting at such an establishment had you ever been forced to wait 5 minutes to complete your purchase. T1, T3, and OC-3 lines run many times faster and are far more reliable, period.
Office and Retail Communications
Other than point of sale transactions, many times these same businesses will also require Internet access for desktop computers as well as voice communications for phones lines. Due to the “integrated” option with these lines, a business can have their checkout stand, office computer, and phone lines all run from the same line.
In other case scenarios, a business may be a call center or a business that has more than one office or cubicle. In these everyday scenarios the lines will be used for either 24 phone lines via a T1, or a variable split for Internet and business phones. Larger businesses and enterprises will more than likely deploy a T3, OC-3, but can end up needing even more phone lines and/or bandwidth depending on employee size. In large capacity cases solutions may include OC-12, OC-48, and OC-192 circuits.
Banks and Government
Lately, a newer business telecommunications product has come into play called MPLS, an improved alternative to VPN. While many businesses wanting private data transfers in between their branches utilize MPLS, this is not the case for highly sensitive information that banks, financial institutions, or government agencies.
Point to point T1 lines become necessary for absolute network security. What makes this the most secure connection is that the line or lines are physically run from location A to location B. MPLS is a cloud based solution that has high security, but in some certain instances, it is the need for the highest secure Extranet that is of the most importance. Information to pass through these lines can be client’s social security numbers, customer account numbers, or even military war plans to government officials. Other common terms for a point-to-point can be PTP, P2P, or what is called a dedicated line. These kind of lines can be extremely expensive, but to the institutions and agencies involved, are worth every penny.
While we did not cover every use for a T1 line, this should give you a better idea as to how a T1 line can come into play for your business. Other uses gaining popularity or are already there would be server hosting, videoconferencing, business VoIP, public Wi-Fi access (coffee shops, airports, etc.), streaming security cameras, and more.
Aaron Siegel has been a business telecommunications services bro