Part of what you are paying for with your T1 is the ability to pick up the phone and call a tech like me to discuss traffic patterns, usage history & do real time troubleshooting. I have direct access to the data switch port and can see your traffic in real time along with any errors that might be occurring. I can also see your traffic from point-to-point, that is along the entire length of your connection. So if the trouble is really at the other end of your circuit (you can sedn & receive, but the remote site you’re trying to reach is down), I can tell you that instantly.
DSL is nowhere near that friendly when it comes to repairs. If your DSL goes down, we’ll get around to fixing it in a few days, maybe next week if you’re lucky. If your T1 goes down, we have a committment to bring you back in service within 4 hours. If we miss that, you get $$ back on your bill and you get a service manager working for you. If the repair is dragging, he calls me up and screams in my ear until your service is restored. I doubt if you’d ever get any $ back on your DSL unless you were without service for a whole billing period, and few business can hardly afford to be without fast packet WAN service for a month.
Another service we provide for our wealthy fast packet customers is proactive monitoring of your circuit. If we lose handshake with your router, the switch generates a trap that sets of an a alarm in my center. Some unlucky sap gets to sit in front of a 48" monitor all day long and watch hundreds of alarms scroll by. If your alarm doesn clear within a few minutes, we generate a trouble ticket and call up whoever is listed as primary point of contact in your company for dealing with network troubles. We provide this service 7/24/365. You’ll be thankful for this if it’s 3 o’clock in the morning and you don’t have your own help desk that monitors all your routers. Chances are, we’ll have the T1 back up by the time your business opens that morning. If your DSL goes down, it’s up to you to figure it out & call us. Be sure to have something to read when you call the DSL center, cuz you’ll be in queue for an hour after which somebody will answer and place you on hold.
Have you asked about increasing your burst rate? I think it’ll only be a few dollars more and from what you’ve said you already have a full physical T1, which is restricted to a virtual 256k (that’s 128k with a burst of 128k).
T1 circuits also have loopable devices at various points, which is a huge benifit when it comes time to shoot troubles. You probably have a loopable T1 card called a smart jack at your site. From the switch, I can send out a loop code that will help me prove the T1 portion of the circuit good. The customer equipment (channel service unit & router) may even be loopable from the switch, so I might even be able to test your equipment for you if you’ve enabled those options.
In terms of quality of service, T1 is full duplex at (up to) 1.544 Mbps, while DSL speed and quality depends on the length of the loop and condition of the pairs. Got flaky pairs? Gee tha’s too bad. You’ll only get 240k download and 76k upload (or whatever), and that’s not considered a trouble condition, it’s just what you can get based on the prevailing conditions. On the other hand, if you’re paying for a full or even fractional T1 and your LAN tech sees errors in the data or slow throughput, that’s a legitimate complaint and it’ll be up to us to bring you back up to full speed pronto.
T1 also allows you to connect all of your various locations by adding virtual channels to your existing T1. This would be usful if you happen to have one major location and multiple remote sites, like a bank. Many business would be a little wary about sending sensitive data from site to site via the internet, and would prefer to have a private line that exists only within the fast packet cloud in the switching network.