T1 or T3: Which Internet Access Option is Right for Your Business?

Whether you're operating an eCommerce store, working on project collaboration apps, or doing online marketing, it's essential to have an adequate Internet connection.

Because businesses will typically have more users and data than a residential connection, many opt for business T1 or T3 Internet access because it can better meet their needs.

Here are the basics of each option so you can choose the ideal fit for your business.


This is the more basic and affordable option and tends to work well for businesses with minimal employees. The average connection speed is 1.5 Mbps, which means it can handle most medium data requirements. If your business has anywhere from 7–30 employees, this should be sufficient. Any less than 7 and a standard DSL connection is often best because of the financial savings. Any more than 30 and it’s unlikely that it can keep up with your data needs.

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When it comes to broadband Internet, a business T3 connection is one of the fastest you will find. According to 360 Telecommunications, this has a speed of 44.6 Mbps, which makes it about 30 times faster than a T1. If you’re running a small business with fewer than 30 employees, T3 is probably overkill and isn’t necessary. If your business is significantly larger with over 30 employees and has heavy data requirements, then this option is worth considering.

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Making a Choice

For small to mid-sized companies, a business T1 connection should work fine. Say that you have 15 to 20 regular Internet users who are surfing the net, sending emails, using Instant Messenger, etc. A T1 connection should keep things running smoothly with little to no interruptions. It’s also the clear choice if you’re on a budget and looking to spend no more than $1,000 per month. This gives you considerably more speed than a standard DSL connection without breaking the bank.

When it comes to larger companies with numerous employees and serious data needs, a business T3 connection is probably best. This would be the choice of a business that has several dozen employees online at the same time with numerous files continually being downloaded.

Also, if you’re hosting multiple websites that consistently receive a high volume of traffic, this should be able to meet your bandwidth needs. Because the average costs of a T3 connection is fairly steep, you will need a sizable Internet budget. This option is incredibly fast and mainly reserved for businesses with major connection needs.

It’s also important to consider what the projected growth of your business will be over the next few years when making a choice. While a T1 may exceed your needs right now, you may require the capabilities of a T3 a year from now. That’s why you should choose a vendor with a limited contract length or the option of upgrading if you foresee major growth.

As technology and the Internet evolve, it’s easier to keep up with needs of businesses in all industries and of all sizes. Both choices offer reliable service and plenty of security to safely maintain operations. By choosing the ideal option for your business, you can accommodate the online needs of employees, maximize productivity, and keep customers happy.

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