Tired of hearing the phrase “next generation”? You shouldn’t be. It’s the key to the future of your home and office communications. Take the T3 line, for example, which is supposed to supplant the ordinary T1 line and bring us hyper fast internet connections.
High speed internet seems to be the deifying goal of modern communications providers, and with good reason. Rather like widening a congested motorway, brining more speed to home internet connections will at least temporarily allay the problems associated with everyone trying to get online at the same time and slowing everything down.
Broadly speaking (no pun intended), T1 broadband comes through a normal phone line or fibre optic line; T3 internet comes through a line that can run 30 times faster. On average a T1 line (which is what most of us use) can support a download speed of around 1.5 Mbps, whereas T3 operates at almost 50 Mbps. The massively increased speeds mean that multiple websites can be hosted by a business using a T3 line – and a home user with a T3 line can surf, download and live in the internet without ever noticing the existence of other traffic.
The quest for increased carrying capability won’t stop there, of course. Right now, T3 offers breathing space to increasingly embattled internet service providers, whose high speed internet packages are sold with download speeds that get harder and harder to achieve as the lines clog with millions of subscribers. The trouble (and the benefit, perversely) is, every increase in speed also paves the way for a new glut of internet technology, which of course requires that speed in order to work properly in the majority of homes. There is after all no point in releasing web technology that most people will never get to use. So what happens is a hike in speed briefly frees us all up, and then new net technology comes along which fully utilises that speed – and then we’re back to square one, waiting (this time) for T4.
So what, right now, are the benefits of a T3 high speed internet connection? Well, you should be able to run multiple devices from the same connection without thinking about it – and you ought to be able to connect to the net even at peak times without experiencing too much of a slowdown.
That said, it should be noted that many internet providers operate a fair use policy and will cap you once you have reached a certain amount of monthly download. If your connection is running at supersonic speeds, and you are grabbing data downloads in great big fistfuls, then you might find yourself getting cut off regularly.
The fair use policy exists to prevent single users from hogging the bandwidth – and the more speed and power you command, the more bandwidth you can sit on. So make sure that you do your research and find out whether a T3 line will end up costing you more than it’s worth. It’ll be expensive to put in and if you run out of data allowance you might not see the benefits of your investment.