DS3 Pricing for Internet bandwidth varies based on a number of factors. DS3 Internet is also known as T3 Internet service with a maximum bandwidth speed of 45Mbps. DS3 service is delivered either by the local phone provider (ILEC), competitive local phone provider (CLEC), or by a fiber provider. A T3 line is either a fiber Internet connection or a coax wired connection. Unlike T1 service, regular copper pairs are not used in the installation of DS3 lines.
Costs to Deliver DS3 Service
DS3 pricing is higher because of the costs involved in delivering the connection to a location (fiber or coax) and provider DS3 hardware costs. DS3 price also depends on the distance from the service location to the providers POP (aka the Local Loop), the longer the distance, the higher the cost. DS3 costs can vary based on the number of providers available for a building or service area (ILEC, CLEC, fiber providers). The more DS3 providers available, the lower the T3 cost, especially in larger markets. Outside of the local loop cost, there is the Internet port cost. That part is typically much less than the local loop, does not vary based on location, but depends on the speed needed (3 to 45Mbps).
In rural markets, T3 costs are the highest because of all the factors outlined above, including limited T3 providers (usually just ILEC), longer distances between site and T3 provider POP, and less demand for T3 service. DS3 pricing in rural areas can be anywhere between $3,000-$5000+ a month. In small-mid sized markets costs are usually $1500-3000, and large metro areas can be as low as $1000-2000 per month.
New Ethernet Services Available
An emerging technology that is becoming available in more markets and locations is Ethernet Internet Service. Ethernet Internet connections are delivered as Ethernet over Fiber or Ethernet over Copper, both providing a lower cost per Mbps vs DS3 costs. When considering Internet bandwidth options you should consider pricing both DS3 and Ethernet Services.