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 What kind of equipment do I need for T1 service?

Written by: S. Sullivan - Oct 21, 2017

This is a common question for someone new to the world of business class data communications. In most instances the main piece of equipment is a CSU/DSU, which stands for Channel Service Unit and Data Service Unit. A CSU sits between the line coming in from the central office (local phone company's switch) and devices such as channel banks or data communications devices. A CSU is found on every digital link and allows the transfer of data at a range greater than 56Kbps. A 56Kbps circuit would need a 56Kbps DSU on both ends to tranfer data from one end to the other. A CSU looks like your basic external modem, except it can pass at data rates much greater and does not permit dial-up functions (unless it has an asynch dial-backup feature). The DSU portion is a device to terminate a digital channel on a customer's premises. It performs certain line coding, line conditioning and equalization functions, and responds to loopback commands from the central office. CSU/DSUs deliver digital data at rates of 56 Kbps to 1.536 Mbps over 1.544 Mbps T-1 access lines. Channels can be 56 or 64 Kbps increments, using 1 to 24 DS-0 channels. Prices can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on the specifications. CSU/DSUs are offered in stand-alone form or integrated into other networking devices such as: routers, bridges, and remote access servers.