Comcast business class vs T1

  • Hi sorry for the non-pfsense topic but I can't find much input on changing from a T1 to Comcast business class Internet.
    We're in the Boston, MA area.

    We have two VPN's to two remote sites. We are not using any voip. The office is just run of the mill internet usage. The Remote sites have only 2 users at each site. They use Terminal Services. Currenly it works fine.

    We do use PFsense and we're very happy.

    Right now, run of the mill T1 from a local company called Access Northeast. Never been down in the 3 years we've had it. We pay $350/month. Contract is up the end of May.

    We can go month to month for $399/month.

    I can get Comcast business class for about$160 I can get 22/5 service with 5 IP's (crazy I need to pay $20 for 5 IPs)

    Any input will be appreciated.

    Thank you

  • The T1 has never been down at all? Not even during the overnight? I have tons of ISDN-PRI that that go down during the overnight while Verizon is doing maintenance. Of course this is only 2-5 times a year tho…

    I work at a company that gives similar service to what Comcast offers. I would say go for it. The uptime should be close to the T1. But please remember that a few things can cause an outage: Power failure (could be 2 blocks away, but you could go down if the mainline doesn't have power and the batties drain), weather breaking the mainline on the pole or causing a power failure, normal maintenance that a cable company does during the overnight.  IP's aren't cheap anymore but 20 bucks is a steal I think...

  • Well I take back that never-Never during work hours or weekends,  I do ocassionally get emails warning of a potential outage during the night-I/we never notice.

    Maybe I'll get a sligtly lower speed from Comcast and get a backup dsl line in case. Boss said I can do anything as long as the monthly doesn't go over $300/month

    Thanks for the input.

    Maybe uptime from Comcast will be better as we own the building comcast rents space in for a cust. service office. Seems like a large office too. It's staffed 7 days per week. Not sure if its 24hrs though.

  • No comment on Comcast, but business-class DSL can be quite reliable.  I used a Megapath SDSL line when I lived in Jacksonville and had zero problems over three years.  I lost power for 10 days due to a hurricane and could no longer run my server as a result, but every time I charged up my laptop to serve status messages the SDSL line was always up.

  • I second all the other comments for dropping the T1.  It's an antiquated technology that needs to be replaced, not to mention the huge bandwidth increase you will see.  It makes you feel good to be off of the old copper network as well.  How are you currently set up for voice?  We got a screaming deal from Time Warner when we gave them our PRI and internet business (both delivered over fiber in San Diego).  Comcast might be able to get you better pricing on the voice side too, might be worth a look.

  • for voice-pri from onecommunications. no issues and under contract.

  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    With a T1 you are not just paying for the reliability you are paying for the SLA and MTTR. Try getting the cable company to fix your cable or the telco to fix a DSL line in under 24-48 hours ("We'll be there between 8am-6pm!"). With a T1 the mean time to repair is generally 4hrs, often less, even with a wire cut.

    If you can get the cable company to agree to an SLA with a response time like that, I'd jump on it. T1s still have their place though. They may be older and slower, but they really can't be beat in terms of reliability over time.

  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    Another note: SDSL/IDSL are nice, but unless the provider is also the ILEC for the area, good luck on repair times.

    I used to work with an ISP that was a wholesale provider for a CLEC that did SDSL/IDSL, and when it worked it was great but getting the telco to repair the lines when they went down was like pulling teeth. Scheduling vendor meets between the CLEC's field techs and the ILEC techs was a mess and could lead to days of downtime…

  • Make sure you can get SDSL or something with decent upload, most DSLs have lousy upload, which might have a severe impact on your VPNs. I personally would not want to run a Cable or DSL as the only line unless you can afford being down for a day or two. Getting both may be cheaper than the T1 and gives you excellent reliability.

  • Jimp brought up a good point.  While we DO use the cable company for our connectivity for both voice and bandwidth, we have fiber to the building which falls under a different SLA and MTTR than the coax network.  We have a 25/5 cable modem we negotiated as a backup (it happens to be free so please save the "it's not a separate path" comments) but the SLA is horrible, you're basically at their mercy and have no remedies if the system is down.

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