Technology Overview


Session Initiation Protocol or (SIP) is what you may know as Voice over IP or (VoIP). It can be best described as what your smart phone can do for you today vs. what your grandparent’s rotary phone is limited to. As rough of a comparison as this is, we feel it hits the nail on the head. SIP Trunking allows the end user to treat all communications such as Data, Voice, Video, IMs, and E-Mail as software. It uses VoIP to transfer communications over an Internet Protocol platform.

Think of it as a multilane highway (up to 48 lanes) that allows multiple signal types to travel down the same path. SIP Trunks can take an organization’s PBX (Private Branch Exchange) to a LAN or WAN and use the internet to do it’s biding instead of the traditional analog phone circuits which is the legacy protocol for sending voice calls over copper wires.

The advantages of SIP are less expensive because it simplifies an organization’s infrastructure down to a single IP conduit for their voice, network, and data. It is also found to be more reliable because IP hardware tends to have a longer life expectancy than the legacy TDM. SIP also negates the requirements of having costly gateway hardware such as a PRI to access the public network.

EOC, DSL, Cable, T-1, Fiber?

When deciding on what type of internet connectivity to use, businesses most commonly have to take certain factors into account – how much they can afford, how much bandwidth, reliability, where are they located, and the type of data traffic they will be using.

As tough of a challenge as this is, figuring out which type of connection will work best for your organization can be further complicated due to the abundance of information and choices out there. To help you better understand it all, we have listed some of the top connectivity types with their pros and cons.


Broadband Cable Internet (such as Comcast Business Class Internet) uses existing cable lines in or around your office building to bring you Internet access. Cable lines are already present in many areas since companies and residential locations often utilize Cable for television services.

This type of broadband requires a cable modem to be installed at your location, which can either be leased or purchased based on the agreement between you and your provider.

The drawback to Cable is that you share Internet bandwidth with all the other Cable Internet subscribers in your area. If there is a high number of Cable customers in your particular area, the amount of bandwidth available to you decreases, making the connections slower as the system tries to accommodate the needs of each user in the network.

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)

Like Cable, Broadband DSL uses lines already in and around your office building. However, instead of cable lines, DSL relies on telephone lines. While this results in voice and Internet data travelling on the same line, a barrier between the two types of traffic is configured so they do not interfere with one another, enabling your business to use the Internet and operate on the phone at the same time.

For businesses located in a city or high population density area, DSL is a good choice because you will have your own subscriber line, instead of sharing bandwidth like Cable subscribers. But, DSL connection works better when you are closer to the provider’s central office. As a result, this is not a great choice for businesses in rural locations or those far from the central office.


A T1 circuit is a dedicated point-to-point line from your business’ network to the telephone company’s central office and then to the ISP. This fiber optic or copper line can carry data at a rate of approximately 1.5 Mbps.

In addition to a single T1, carriers have the ability to provide customers with bonded T1s. For each T1 in the bond, the speed of the connection increases by 1.5 Mbps. So, for example, if you have two bonded T1s, your connection speed is approximately 3 Mbps. If you have three bonded T1s, the connection travels at 4.5 Mbps, and so on.

A T1 line is often a good fit for a small or medium sized business needing broadband Internet service for twenty to fifty Internet users. The monthly cost of such a line is typically based on distance from the nearest central office, but is generally higher than that of Cable or DSL.

T1 lines are popular with businesses because they provide the same type of “always on” Internet access as other types of broadband but have very few incidences of lost connections since they connect straight to the provider. And, if the service does go down, T1s have a Service Level Agreement (SLA), unlike broadband. With an SLA, there’s a guarantee of performance, a latency guarantee, and a guaranteed time to repair if the service goes down.

Aside from data speed, reliability and the presence of an SLA are possibly the most important differences between a T1 and broadband connections.


Years ago, T1 lines were the most widely used Internet connection. However, Internet demands are growing so rapidly that T1s aren’t able to handle the bandwidth capacity as easily as they used to. That’s why many businesses are turning to Ethernet.

Traditionally, Ethernet could only be utilized within one company’s network. However, with the expansion of Ethernet into the carrier world, a company’s locations across the state, across the country, and even across the world can connect through the Wide Area Network (WAN). This connection provides a transparent service that bridges LANs in separate locations together as if they were one network, thereby maximizing your LAN/WAN resources.

On average, Ethernet service is delivered to a customer with a minimum speed of 10 Mbps (which, to compare, is more than six T1s bonded together) and can go all the way up to 1 Gbps and beyond. This high level of bandwidth comes at a relatively low cost since Ethernet cables and equipment are inexpensive, and well-defined industry standards make installation collectively simple and economical throughout the industry. In fact, the cost structure is generally lower than that of a T1.

Like T1 lines, Ethernet service comes with a Service Level Agreement (SLA), which outlines exactly what level of service is being delivered to the customer and provides guarantees of performance and mean time to repair in the event of downtime.

In general, there are two types of Internet over Ethernet:

Ethernet over Copper (EoC)- EoC uses bonded copper lines to deliver Internet service.  Even though the reliability of EoC and bonded T1 circuits is much the same, pricing is lower for EoC.

Ethernet over fiber (EoF)– While EoC uses copper lines to deliver Internet service, EoF uses fiber lines to deliver Internet.

Though cross-talk and electromagnetic interference can be a consideration when setting up cabling for an Internet connection, particularly when that connection operates at high speeds, fiber lines are resistant to these types of interference. So, fiber can provide much more reliable data transmission when working with Gigabit speeds. However, a drawback to fiber cabling is that it can have a higher initial cost.

More than One Connection

Because organizations rely on the Internet for everything, – voice, email, research, web conferencing and more – and the demand for Internet-based applications is only growing. No one business can afford to be cut off from the Internet for any significant amount of time. To ensure continuous connectivity, most businesses today have a combination of the connections discussed above. In fact, we work with businesses to find which it’s cheaper and most effective (in the long run) to maintain dual connections with a form of automatic failover instead of experiencing and resolving an outage. How can you investigate what kind of combination of broadband, T1 and Ethernet services would benefit your business? Through personal consultation with us of course! Though this was just a quick glance at some of the most commonly used business Internet connections, we hope it provides you with some insight into what’s out there. If you have any questions or want to learn more about any of the features we talked about above, please contact our experts.