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T1 vs. Cable Speed Test

Last response: in Networking
December 2, 2011 11:24:54 PM

I currently have cable by Time Warner and I just ran a speed test on

My speeds on cable came out to be 21.18Mbps/Download and 0.97Mbps/Upload.

My new place has T1 running through it at 7 Mega Bits Per Second up/down.

Does this mean the T1 is actually slower than the cable?

I've always been under the impression that T1 is always faster than cable. But, if I'm understanding correctly, my cable is actually faster and T1?

More about : cable speed test

December 3, 2011 12:52:59 PM

If you are running 7 Mbs you are not using T1 --- a T1 line has 24 channels capable of a max speed of 64Kbs per channel so a max speed of 24 x 64Kb = 1536Kbs or approx 1.5Mbs. Which at the time it was widely used was faster than the available alternatives but is nowadays pretty much lower end. The main advantage to a T1 line is that Unlike DSL or cable internet, T1 channels cannot be shared or piggybacked by another customer. Speed can never be degraded by another customer's usage.

But you are correct that nowadays Cable and many DSL connections are now faster than a T1 line due to improvements in the standards used for DSL and Cable transmission.

Also be sure to check your Cable speed over a long download period -- Many Cable services offer methods of increasing the speed for the first 30 - 60 Seconds of a download so that speed tests report much higher speeds than the line actually gets ! For Example on Time Warner they offer PowerBoost which they describe as :

PowerBoost provides a burst of download speed when capacity is available above the customer’s provisioned download speeds for the first 10 MB of a file or for Road Runner Standard customers up to 7 MB of a file. It then reverts to your provisioned speed for the remainder of the download. Actual speeds may vary. Not all service tiers are available in all areas. Many factors affect speed. PowerBoost is a registered trademark of Comcast Corporation. Used with Permission. © Time Warner Cable Inc. All rights reserved.

So it is mainly a method of getting reporting software to show a faster connection speed than the actual speed of the service by letting you use a portion of others connections if they are not being used for the start of a download making users feel they are getting better speed than what they are paying for !
February 14, 2012 11:18:13 PM

I am a solutions consultant for and, depending on your location, can
offer you T1 service as low as $250/month with $0 installation fees.

I own a small service company, and had horrible experiences with both cable and DSL bc the upload speed couldn't support the software we were running on it. In November I called BandwidthSolutions and upgraded to a T1 for $250/month, and haven't looked back. I'd highly recommend T1 for a small business that needs consistent download/upload speeds! Also, I'd definitely recommend Nate from Bandwidth Solutions - - for finding the cheapest rate on internet solutions! His pricing was way cheaper on the same providers I called directly.

Do what I did & never look back!

May 18, 2012 6:10:09 AM

T1 speed = 1.544 Mb/s of which you get 1.536 Mb/s because of digital overhead.

Cable speed = Up to 6 Mb/s.

T1 is a fully digital signal giving the same speed up and down as it is a symmetrical signal. Cable and other broadband is asymmetrical because most people do more downloading than uploading.

As said, T1 is digital. Cable, DSL, dial-up are all analog using specific frequencies to encode the bits.

T1 uses two cable pairs, one for transmit and one for receive. They carry the fully digital signal both ways at the same time.

Which one is faster? You can decide.The size of the cable/wire has nothing to do with speed, but the type of encoding does. Think of fiber. Smaller than anything but will carry data in the gigabit range. It's the encoding.