T-3 Line Definition

A T-3 line, sometimes referred to as a DS3 line, is a leased line data connection that has a maximum capacity of 44.736 megabits per second.

This contrasts with a T-1 line, which has a capacity of 1.544 megabits per second.

A T-3 line actually consists of 672 individual channels, each of which supports 64 kbps. A T-1 line consists of 24 individual 64kbps channels.

A T-3 connection is extremely expensive to maintain, and is thus reserved for only the largest network installations. As is the case with T-1, fractional T-3 access is available, which provides a portion of the T-3 bandwidth (i.e., capacity) for a fraction of the cost of a full T-3 connection.

T-3 lines are used mainly by Internet service providers (ISPs) for connecting to the Internet backbone and for the Internet backbone itself.

Created October 18, 2005.
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