Special Access versus UNE T1 loops

Is there any difference between Special Access T1 loops versus UNE (Unbundled Network Element) T1 loops ? Some service providers tout more expensive Special Access loops as being superior and having a better SLA, but competing providers (particularly the ones offering lower-cost UNE loops) claim that there is no difference.
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Most ILEC's do present various levels of thier UNE lines. In the USA there are UNE-L and UNE-P... UNE-P is the traditional T1 loop. The UNE-L is a basic bare Copper loop. With that being said a few low cost UNE-L loops can be used to present "Mid Band" services which can range from 1.5-45 Mb depending on distance from a C/O facility and the number of available loops. Many Cell companies use this to back haul data to remote cell towers where fiber would just be too expensive.

Most cap off at 8 UNE-L loops for customer premise runs because once you get to 20 Mb it makes sense to begin looking at Fiber options. CLEC's can use this technology as well. The one I work for operates as both a CLEC and an ILEC depending on the area but we deploy these for both sides of the company. It is a very cost effective option to Fiber and is much less than the UNE-P (T1 Lines)...  Ball park ranges for carrier loop costs is about 10$-$25 per UNE-L Loop and $100-$400 per UNE-P loop so you can see the advantages. Often we can sell 10 Mb of the Ethernet over Copper (EoC) for the same as 3 Bonded T1s (4.5 Mb)... But carriers must invest in new hardware to make use of the Mid-Band Ethernet services so not all have moved in that direction and it is very similar to DSL services when calculating effective distances.

However they can usually offer very similar SLA's to the end customer.As long as they have a written SLA the concept is no different between the physical layer of these 2 types of transport. Both are simple copper loops. It is more about the network infrastructure behind each that determines if the SLA's can be established effectively for the "Ethernet over Copper: or "Mid Band" services. The company I work for has identical SLA's for each type but the newer EoC is limited to specific areas since it is a newly available transport method.

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