T-1 Line Definition

A T-1 line, sometimes referred to as a DS1 line, is a dedicated telecommunications connection that supports a maximum data rate of 1.544 megabits per second.

It consists of 24 individual channels, each of which supports 64 kilobits per second. Each of these channels can be configured to carry either voice or data traffic. Most telephone companies allow leasing of these individual channels, known as fractional T-1 access.

T1 lines are normally used by small and medium-sized companies with heavy network traffic, including for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for connecting to the Internet backbone.

The T-carrier signaling scheme was devised by Bell Labs, the research arm of AT&T, the former U.S. telecommunications monopoly. AT&T introduced this scheme system, the first successful system to support digital transmission, in the 1960s, and it subsequently introduced T-3, which has a capacity of 44.736 Mbps.

Originally, T-1 meant transmission - level 1 and DS-1 meant digital service - level 1.

Created October 4, 2005.
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