"Help us, T1, you're our only hope."

A "T1" is a synchronous 1.54Mbps connection between two networks (most commonly between an office network and the internet).  It provides the same upload and download speed, and is a technology that's been in use since about 1961.  When I started college (not afraid to date myself a little), the campus of about 1500 students and faculty happily shared a single T1 connection to the Internet.  It was /awesome/. Things are a bit different today.

Most smaller offices require greater download bandwidth than upload bandwidth these days.  I mean, let's face it, there are a whole lot of youtube videos to watch, right?  As a result, the vast majority of broadband connections these days are asynchronous, meaning you can download faster than you can upload.  A common business DSL line that we help our clients install has download bandwidth about 4 times as fast as a T1.  The tradeoff for getting these download speeds, is that the upload bandwidth is about 2/3 that of a T1.  That seems like a good trade to me.  But it also comes with a price tag of about 75% less.

Here are a few different internet connections we've worked with recently:

Connection Download Speed Upload Speed Monthly price
T1 1.54 Mbps 1.54 Mbps $280-700
Business DSL 6.0 Mbps 1.0 Mbps $150
Business DSL 10.0 Mbps 1.0 Mbps $200
Business Cable 25.0 Mbps 5.0 Mbps $75

Of course, it's not as simple as jumping on the cable connection because it offers the best ratio of maximum speed to monthly price.  Each of these connections have their time and place, and we often end up recommending a combination of two or more of them.  Availability varies greatly from building to building, and you may have a specific need that prohibits one or more of them.  If your mail server is located in your office, you can't get by on the cable connection alone, for example.

In short, before you send some droids out to track down a T1 for you, you should probably talk to someone about how your business actually operates, and if dropping that kind of cash will even help you or not.