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How T1 Works in Rural Areas
Here's why you can get T1 telephone and Internet service most anywhere in the USA.

T1 dedicated voice and data lines are available just about everywhere in the U.S. That may come as a surprise if you run a ranch or farm, or are just located in a more rural area and have tried to get DSL, cable or wireless Internet service. The oldest digital technology is also the most prolific.

The reason for this goes back to why T1 line service was invented in the first place. In the beginning it was never intended to be a stand-alone service sold to businesses. Back in the 1950s telephone companies needed an efficient and reliable way to carry lots of phone calls between their switching offices. Bell Labs came up with a standardized digital trunking system that could carry 24 phone calls on two pair of copper wires. What's more, these T1 lines could carry phone calls as far as needed with no loss in quality.

The quality issue is important. If you remember making long distance phone calls back in the 1950s and 60s, you also remember how noisy they were. Often you could even hear faint conversations in the background which was called crosstalk. Such was the nature of analog carrier telephony. Today, all long distance calls are digitized and it's not unusual for the party you are talking to on the other side of the ocean to sound like they are right next door.

The reason this is possible is that digital signals are made up of numbers consisting of zeros and ones. When an analog signal degrades over distance, the noise and crosstalk that are picked up are indistinguishable from the original signal. The longer it travels and the more amplifiers it gets boosted through, the more the conversation degrades. Digital signals degrade too. They pick up noise and crosstalk the same as analog signals. However, because we know that a digital bit is either a one or a zero, we can rebuild the noisy signal good as new.

The device that does this is called a regenerative repeater, sometimes shortened to just repeater or regenerator. The regenerative repeater is not just a simple amplifier. It actually rebuilds the signal back to original specifications. You can't tell by looking if the signal from the regenerator is the original or an exact duplicate. That's the beauty of digital.

These regenerative repeaters need to be placed every 6,000 feet or a little over a mile apart. By doing so, T1 lines can be carried far out into the countryside. You may get T1 service running perfectly at 1.5 Mbps upload and download even 20 miles or more from the nearest telephone office.

T1 lines can carry broadband Internet service or multi-line telephone service. In some areas, the same line can carry a mixture of the two. Or you can use the broadband Internet access for VoIP telephone service. Either way, if you have standard landline telephone service to your location, chances are that you can also get T1 digital service.

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