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comcast cable vs T1

Posted on 2009-05-15
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We have 14 cubicles at our new location.  Could we use comcast cable for voip or is T1 necessary?
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Question by:al4629740
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by:John Hurst
ID: 24398758
T1 is synchronous (same speed up as down), but basic T1 is about 1.5 mbits/sec and usually expensive. Cable is likely to be 5 or more mbits/sec down and 600 kbits/sec up. I would be inclined to try cable, but I would be equally inclined not to take a long term contract in the event the service was not to your liking. ... Thinkpads_User
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by:table9
ID: 24403349
I would say it depends on a few things.  How many user will be making calls or receiving calls at the same time?   From how the question is worded I would assume you are getting a voip provider on the internet.  For this to work properly the packets from the call must have a minimum amount of latency or delay.  Within your network you can prioritize your traffic using qos, but once the traffic leaves your network you do not have control over it.  The service provider is under no obligation to prioritize your traffic and in many cases will ignore or remove qos markings.  If you are using the t1 to directly get voip from the provider this will give you a certain level of performance not assured by the comcast route.  
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by:al4629740
ID: 24403386
Will prioritized traffic be that big of an issue?  What does that mean for phone calls?
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by:table9
ID: 24403515
Priority is important any time congestion occurs.  Voip traffic is much different than most traffic.  It is negatively effected by other traffic.  For instance if were downloading a large file over the same link with no priority you would most likely experience issues with voice quality.  Prioritizing traffic using qos makes it so the voice traffic is not negatively effected in this case.  Phone call was referring to any voip call.
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table9 earned 500 total points
ID: 24403792
Some other thoughts on making the decision.  First is what is the business and how much revenue is lost when an outage occurs.  The cost differences are significant between the two.  So you may want to bring to person  making the decision the pro and cons.  Comcast - cost is much lower, risk of poor quality calls is greater. Shared media (think of a hub you share the amount of bandwidth with other customers)   T1 - higher cost lost and lower risk of poor voice quality if provided directly from T1 provider.  Dedicated service (think of a switch port)
You also have a speed difference depending on what you purchase through Comcast.  The T1 will be 1.5 mb  the Comcast will be faster but as described above shared.
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