Inexpensive T-1 service on tap from start-up
(IDG) -- Tired of paying mileage for T-1 lines? How about paying a flat $500 per month for a T-1, plus $1 per minute of use instead?
That's the deal start-up WarpSpeed Communications will introduce at NetWorld+ Interop '99 Atlanta next week with its Bandwidth@WarpSpeed service.
Using WarpSpeed's Web site, customers can order the service and provision a T-1 in 30 seconds. They can use the line for as long as they want for $1 per minute - 50 cents per minute at night. When done, customers hit the Web site again and shut down the circuit.
Through a unique relationship with AT&T, WarpSpeed can offer its service virtually anywhere in the U.S.
Traditional T-1s cost $500 to $1,000 per month plus an extra $20 or more fee per mile for the length of the access line. For a transcontinental T-1, the monthly bill could be $6,000 or more. So customers who need a T-1 for less than 100 hours per month might find the WarpSpeed service economical.
"I could see this as backup to a primary circuit," says Todd Inch, manager of communications for the IT division at Cotelligent, a technology consulting firm in San Francisco.
The service also offers two potential advantages over traditional T-1s. First, if the number of dollars you pay per month for mileage on your T-1 is more than the number of minutes you use the line, Bandwidth@WarpSpeed may be less expensive.
Also, an equivalent, fully meshed T-1 network requires each site to have a separate T-1 for each other site to which it wants to connect. If one site wants to connect to six others, the network needs six T-1s. If all seven sites want to connect with each other, it requires 21.
With Bandwidth@WarpSpeed, each site needs only one T-1 to access the nearest WarpSpeed point of presence.
That scenario assumes each site needs to connect with just one other site at a time and that the user doesn't need to send high-volume traffic most of the time. For high-demand client/server applications in which the timing of the demand is unpredictable, frame relay would be a better choice, Inch says.
The usefulness of Bandwidth@WarpSpeed depends on how much traffic customers generate and whether it would save money to turn off the link when no traffic is being passed.
The technology behind the service is called the real-time resource manager, software that breathes new life into static network devices known as digital access crosscontrol systems (DACS). DACSes are the backbone of traditional T-1 networks. But they are static; once a T-1 is set up, it is always up.
WarpSpeed initially negotiated network access rights with Teleport Communications Group, which was later bought by AT&T.
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